This will be the last blog message until August 14th. Bernadette and I will be leaving for and spending the night in Manila tomorrow. Thursday Morning we’ll be departing for Seattle. We have a lot planned for this trip back. Following the cruise, we will be having a reunion with my former Army Reserve unit also being held at the Best Western. Our group paved the way for that reunion. I just mirrored it to ours. That one is shaping up to being a pretty big reunion. We were a Dental Unit out of Tacoma and did most of our week-end drills in one of the Dental Clinics at Fort Lewis. We became a pretty close knit bunch over the years. Our unit was deactivated in 1996 and this will be our first reunion. We were the largest Dental reserve unit in the whole Army with 90 members inclusive of 35 Dentist. In the last 3 weeks I got roped into organizing a breakfast reunion for the retired folks from my former department code in the Shipyard too. Bernadette and I have also arranged to have a no host dinner with about 40 of our friends at one of the local Bremerton Restaurants too. As you can see, this will be a fun trip back for us.
Please keep the messages coming. I will get regrouped when I get back to the PI. I will be monitoring my Hotmail account the most while we are back in the states.
From Dave Slyter (70): Fargo, ND.
Hey Gary:

I see that you have a birthday tomorrow (July21st) Just want to wish you a very “Happy Birthday” and thanks for all you have done to bring everyone together. 62????

Dave Slyter :) (70)

From Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.
Hi Gary,
I hope you have a safe, and very enjoyable trip to Seattle and Alaska. I know everyone will enjoy the time you spend together. Let us know all about it when you return. Have a very happy birthday, July 21st too!! I’ll be thinking of you all.
Dave & Eileen, I was trying my best not to let the cat out the bag with this one, but yes today, July 21st, is my birthday. Actually Eileen, I was just going to send you a personal reply, but then when I got Dave’s message, I thought I better post them. Neola sent me an advance happy birthday wish several days ago too. Dale Pritchard sent advanced happy birthday greetings a while back too. Thanks to all of you. 7/21/1947 would make me 62. I can start drawing social security now. With the federal retirement system social security off set, I won’t be getting much, but that’s OK, I’m not complaining. I got my Social Security quarters with the Army Reserves. Those reserve years have sure given me a whole lot of benefits in my later years. Those older than me will always be the Senior citizen. I don’t ever plan on getting there. Gary
Two years ago (2007) at a family reunion in the Bottineau Park
Ken Stiker’s reply to Neola: Dayton, OH.
Neola- I sure appreciate your contributions to the blog. I am the “archivist” for the Striker family.
Wm Elmer Striker m Adele Schefter and homesteaded in the Rolette Co ND/Dunseith area in April of 1900. I would like to have anything you come across regarding descendants of this family. Ken Striker 4769 Arcadia Blvd, Dayton OH 45432. email:

Question from Dale Pritchard (63): Leesville, LA
Gary, I didn’t know Clarence Bjornseth but I did know Jacob Bjornseth pretty well. We
rented his hay fields and stacked or baled his hay for a few years.
Jacob was a really nice person also. Was Clarence related to Jacob in
any way? I didn’t see Jacob’s name in the obituary.


Dale, the Bjornseth’s are all related. Clarence’s parents were Art & Emma Johnson Bjornseth. Jacob was married to Cora Johnson. Jacob and Art were Brothers married to sisters. That would make Jacob an uncle to Clarence. Cora and Emma Bjornseth were sisters to Sander, Eddie & James Johnson too. Not too many years ago when I was talking to Clarence in Bottineau, I commented that he had a long walk to the Ackworth school from where they lived in Bottineau county. He said “When I went to Ackworth, we lived where the Bob Pritchard farm is today”. That’s your old place. As a kid I can remember visiting Art & Emma Bjornseth on Sunday afternoons. With the lunch Emma prepared, we never went away from their house hungry. We boys had some hellacious appetites in those days too. Dad’s sister, Lilli Gunderson, thought we had warms and was dead serious when requesting my folks to have us checked to see if we did indeed have worms. We were just some bean pole kids with big appetites. Gary
Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI

Hi Gary and Everyone

Just a quick reference to the comment Verena Gillis made about Agent orange or other chemicals possibly used in the area between the Peace Garden and Lake Metigoshee that possibly could have added to the occurrence of cancer deaths in that area I sincerely hope that the U S Govt, the State of North Dakota, and canada, as well as local officials have addressed this with all of the citizens of North Dakota, more especially with those who lived in or near the “Hills”. If this was partially responsible, it is most unfortunate that people were not informed and I really believe the Chemical company owe a complete explanation as to why people were not informed or why there was not more research done too protect the residents. I will leave it there and trust the good judgement of the people of North Dakota to clear the matter up.

Meanwhile; I wish to wish you and your wife Bernadette, and all the Dunseith Alumni participating in the Alaskan cruise the best time and cruise possible


Kindest Regards to All


Erling Landsverk




Reply from Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.


I too remember sneaking in to listen to the band during lunch breaks. Wow were they ever good, and so many different instruments, some of which I had never seen or heard of before. And the day Mr. Johnson accepted me into choir was unforgettable. I was always in awe of him and his wonderful talents.
Now days the choirs and bands disappoint me too, when I get the opportunity to listen, as they seem to be just slightly off key and tempo. The choirs are very hard to hear over the accompanying music. Seems they don’t know about Mr. Johnson’s “sing out! I need to hear you!” But perhaps that is just me getting old and hard of hearing as well. LOL I do know however that you could hear our choir very well over the music as he recorded a lot of the songs we did and played them back in class to illustrate how we could do better. And he never settled for less than our best.
He also insisted on being well dressed and IN UNIFORM, no excuses. When my daughter started band the kids threw fits about having to wear uniforms. I guess they didn’t want to be recognized as part of an elite group and all wanted to be their own person, or perhaps they just thought them silly. But those band uniforms were great back in the 60’s. I can not ever remember seeing Mr. Johnson in anything but a suit and tie with well polished shoes and neatly cut hair.
Keep the memories comin’ y’all.
And thank you again Gary for your hard work and dedication to this blog.




Email address change for Pam Fassett Faust (65): Lilburn, GA


Gary – Please change my email to
I got laid off this morning, so I’m going to have to figure out how to use this alternate email address. I sincerely enjoy your daily messages. You are a saint to do this for all the ND folks. Thank you so much!
Pam (Fassett) Faust.


Reply from Alan Poitra (76): Bloomington, MN
Hey Gary and Dave Slyter, I too started as a percussionist (drummer) under the direction of Don Johnson, he was a wonderful teacher and was very helpful. We had many good times in band and choir. Some of my fellow drummers were Lori Williams and Laurie Evans, Donna Wendstad, and Roberta Hagen and little Joel Fugere!!!. When I was in the 7th grade I remember many noon hours I would venture into the music room to listen and watch pep band or concert band, it was such a treat and I could not wait to get to band and play whatever we were practicing for. Watching some of the upper classman get into their instruments…we had a lot of talent in Dunseith. I especially loved to play with the pep band at the games, it is too bad that you do not see that anymore in Dunseith. I have gone to a couple of games to watch my nephews or niece’s play and it is not like I remember when I was in high school. Although change is good, I wish something’s would never change. High school brings back so many good memories and fun times, I know not all people enjoyed their high school years but I have fond memories and have never forgotten my roots or my friendships all thru my school days in Dunseith and my grade school years in Dunseith Indian School. We had such a simple life and no worry’s. I often go thru my high school yearbooks and look at the people and think I wonder what they are doing now. This email blog has allowed me to rekindle some old friendships and catch up on the news from around the world! I know it is often said, but Gary, thanks again for all the hard work you do to keep this going! I know we hear from a lot of the older generation and their memories of Dunseith but hey come on some of you younger generation!!!! It would be nice to hear some old familiar stories, we all grew up in Dunseith or have some ties their, lets hear from the kids of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s!!!! Have a great summer!!
Alan Poitra (1976)
Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

Hi Gary,


I am so happy I am able to contribute to your newsletters. I have to thank Mom/Dad for saving the old newspapers. When Mom sold her house, I dragged the papers to Minot and put in my basement. I DO have a hard time throwing things, especially newspapers/photos/etc. Because of this unwillingness to throw pictures/newspapers, it is so strange I actually threw a picture awhile ago. Don’t you suppose this fellow was mentioned in your newsletter not long afterward! It was a picture of Jerry Boucher in his army uniform. I was so mad at myself for throwing this picture! I thought I’d never get it sent to a family member, so I might as well throw it–wrong!!!! Jerry and my brother, Jim, were in the same “outfit”/platoon/etc.


Jim had sent the picture of Jerry to Mom/Dad, along with some pictures of himself. The reason I know that’s what happened is because Jim wrote it in an old letter I just read. :) I think Jim and Jerry were stationed together at Stuttgart, Germany, besides here in “the states”. In one of the letters I just read (written at Fort Ord, CA, on January 14, 1961), Jim says, “I don’t really know where all of the guys were from that went down to Fargo by train. Duane Moussette, his friend, Jack McMullen and I and a guy from Minot (the guy I am with now–Neola’s comment: I think his name was Gary Larson.), and I don’t know where the rest of them were from. I guess one of them was Jerome Boucher from Thorne.” I’m quite sure my mom had asked Jim who some of the other fellows were who were one the train with him to Fargo. She usually asked questions in her letters, and Jim answered them in his letters. :)



Message/Newspaper articles from Neola:




I’ve been thinking I should scan Althea’s ad one of these times, so I decided to do it now. When I was enhancing the clipping, I glanced at the top movie and noticed Rory Calhoun stars it. The reason his name caught my eye, is that one of the first years I taught in Minot (started the fall of 1963), Rory Calhoun’s niece (actually, his wife’s niece) was in my class–I think her name was Cathy Castro. Rory’s wife/Cathy’s mother were sisters. I didn’t realize Rory was Cathy’s uncle until Rory/his wife came to visit Castro’s and Cathy mentioned her aunt/uncle were visiting their family, and her uncle was an actor. Castro’s lived just south of the school, so when Cathy told this to me, I looked down the street, and sitting in front of Castro’s house was a big old white “Caddy”. I can’t remember if I called the Castro house/sent a note to Mrs. Castro/or how I contacted someone to ask if Mr. Calhoun would be willing to visit our class. I received a polite note, saying he wouldn’t be able to do so. This was no problem (I was young and quite shy at that time, so I think it was a relief when he said he would be unable to visit our class.); what makes me mad is that I threw his note away!! Uff da!! The Castro family moved not too long after that year, so I don’t imagine Rory Calhoun/his wife visited Minot again. It’s a good memory! I had almost forgotten about it until I saw “Rory Calhoun’s” name. He was a HANDSOME fellow! I don’t know if he was a good actor, or not, but who cares/cared about that!!!! Ha!









Folks, Something’s we take for granted and one of those is electric clocks. I have never seen an electric clock for sale in any of the stores here in the Philippines. This country has 220 volt electricty, so we had our house wired for both 110 & 220 volts when we had it built. We have several electric clocks that we brought from the states with us. The problem is they don’t keep good time. Some days they will gain as much as 5 minutes and other days day will loose as much as 5 minutes. In the USA they have true 60 cycle electricity. Here in the PI the eletricity is not true 60 cycle. Gary.
Condolences to Verena Gillis’ sister Dira’s family
From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND
Just a quick note to offer our sympathy for Verena and family on the loss of Dira. I did not know her, but she must have been one very brave and wonderful lady to face the hardships of cancer. I especially liked the poem on her handout. Very well written and so very very touching.
Condolences/Reply from Dave Slyter (70): Fargo, ND
Dick,Gary & Lola,

First my condolences to Verena and the whole family. It is never easy to lose a loved one. what a great poem to send her home. God’s Blessing to all of you.

Dick. You worry to much. ha ha I just had to remind everyone about the drummers being the heart beat of the band and pep band. ha Of course that was my favorite class of all time. Still today, music is in my blood and love listening to all kinds.

Lola. I do remember the fun we had during practices but always remember when it was time to be serious. Don would always give us that serious look and tell us thru that look that we better knock it off. ha It was great.

Dave Slyter (70)

Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND
HATS OFF to Devin Mellang. May God watch over him and all the other soldiers that are watching over us. They are the bravest of the brave . My heart and prayers are always with them and their families. I hope each and every American stands behind our soldiers they are doing their job and doing it very well.And bless all the old soldiers for all you have given to keep us free. If you see a soldier please stop and tell them thank you you can’t know how much it means to them. GOD BLESS YOU DEVIN.
Newspaper articles posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND
Folks, as you can see, Neola seldom throws anything away. I’m not sure how she keeps all these achieves straight.
Neola, We really appreciate all the stuff you provide. It takes a lot of time and effort to scan and send all that you do. You have been a huge contributor to the success of these daily messages and we do appreciate all that you do. Gary



Verena Gillis’ sister, Dira Marie St. Claire Hosie, passed away

Verena (Pete 65) Gillis: Dunseith, ND
Hi everyone,
My sister passed away yesterday morning at 3:15 am surrounded by all her
loved ones. We are so thankful her suffering is over. I will send a copy
of the obit I wrote up for the papers. And thank you all so much for the
responses I have been getting on Agent Orange.





Verena, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your sister. Our condolences are with you and your whole family with her passing. How is Larry St. Claire (66) related to you guys? Are you first cousins? Gary


Reply from Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68): Dunseith, ND.

Dave and Gary–



OK David– tell it like it really was– you always got me laughing and sometimes that got us in trouble — remember??? ha!!_ Actually I don’t think I have ever seen you when you were not in a good mood!!




Larry Hackman– – there are so many stories Jay has of his Grampa “Joe” ( our Joe’s namesake) He sure laughed about the Onion story– I think he said he remembered that– Grampa Joe was such a big gentle guy didn’t talk a whole lot that I remember– But he told of being nightwatch at San HAven and someone had devised a plan to get a “bottle of spirits” up to a TB patient — however Grampa Joe was watching this, so he went up on 2nd floor and when the rope came by the window he cut it– spoiled someone’s fun!- ha–Yes, usually you could find him in “His” chair at the bowling alley– I think Dick told about him tapping him on the shoulder for a phone call so he could get his chair back- Jay said he did that to a lot of kids–




Jay tells about one day Grampa was complaining that as soon as he would try to sit down and eat his dinner some of the neighbor kids would come and keep ringing his doorbell – he would get up to see who was there and they would run away- well, Jay was there one day and this started up so Jay chased them down and pounded on them a bit- I think they all got in trouble- even Jay! ha!






Just some other thoughts about items I’ve read in the blog and never get much time to reply- so many memories come back– thinking about teachers that really made an impression on me leave warm memories ——like Miss Hewson, Charlotte Lang, Jess Hosmer, Mrs Conroy, Dan Morgan, Mrs Judy Olson, Don Johnson, and others– you knew they really cared and remained friends even as we got older.- —- Also the main street store people – SHelvers, Edna Leonard- the HOsmers- Morinvilles- Bill Evans and Armand Mongeon-Herman Martinson- KC- Sine- and the others- treated us like their own kids– and Helen Nelson!!- she was “one of a kind”!!- She made us feel so comfortable- no matter “what” we had to buy!!- In those days you didn’t even say “underpants” in public!! ha








I think of neighbors we had- all moved or gone now- the Lambs—– (Dorothy always had ice cold lemonade for us horseback riders) , Zeilers, Simes,Strikers- Espe’s ,Strongs- Petersons- Millangs, Fulsebakkes (like a bakery!)– such good memories- I don’t ever remember my folks ever having a bad thing to say about any of them that we ever heard! — the big gatherings we would have- like church In the homes In the wintertime and then the adults would visit and the kids play all afternoon and pot luck dinner– they were almost like family!- Well, enough babbling once I get started!!– Thanks Gary!! this blog is wonderful= I love the good old stories especially!!—Lola






Reply from Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND


Boy do I remember the old crank telephone! When Bud and I were first married thats what we had. Of course it was there long before I was. I don’t remember the long rings or short rings of anybody (except central – hers was 1 long. I just remember being home alone with nothing to do so when the phone would ring I’d pick it up to hear what I could. Those turkeys all talked Norwegion and I couldn’t understand a word they said. When there was an emergency or alert for the neighborhood the lady at the central ofc rang 3 longs which meant everybody on the line was to pick up . I only remember that happening once when there was an unscrupulous peddler in the area.

Mary K

Mary, All the other central operators, but Kelvin, in those days had one long for central. Kelvin’s was two longs. I think when you guys were first married my cousin Audrey Aasness was the Metigoshe central operator at that time. I am including Audrey with today’s blog. She is living in Bottineau. Audrey is also a first cousin to the Morinville siblings. Audrey was the Metigoshe central operator for a number of years. I remember well, her living in that drafty old central office with her family that was located about 3 miles or so east of Lake Metigoshe on the north side of #43. Gary


Reply from Dick Johnson (68): djcars@hughes.net Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

I hope Dave Slyter didn’t think I was putting down our drummers. They
were the tempo keepers for the entire band and were the very core of
every song. I think my dad just wanted me to learn to play notes and
scales etc. We always had good drummers when I was in band, starting
with Dale Hoffman. Lola was good on the tympani set too. I think she was
the first drummer at DHS to ever play the tymps. I remember it was quite
a deal when we first got them, no other sound just like that! Other
instruments debuted too, like Toni Morinville on the oboe, Elaine
Metcalfe on the Bassoon, Cheryl Kester on the bass (or contr-bass)
clarinet, and as mentioned before, I played the new baritone sax and
then the real odd valve trombone. It all made for a more full and
distinct sound. I remember Don Darling teaching beginning band. Billy
Berube was the bass drummer and was trying to keep time. Don would first
start to pound his baton on his music stand and then if poor Bill didn’t
get in time, he would grab it by the other end and ‘wing’ it at Bill,
usually clicking it off the drum as Bill was ducking. Bill became one of
the best, it was just hard for us all to get started in like the 4th or
5th grade. Again Dave, I certainly didn’t mean to imply that the drums
and drummers weren’t important. They were and are the heart of a school
band. Some of the other songs for basketball games were, Sugar Lips,
Slow Boat to China, Wipe Out, and others. Thanks Gary!



Posted By Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Devin is the grandson of Glen/Edna (Susie) Millang and Richard/Ele Slyter.


Ele Dietrich Slyter’s (69) reply to Gary: Dunseith, ND

Yes, Devin is my grandson. He entered Marine boot camp at Camp Pendleton, CA last Monday. We are waiting to get a mailing address for him and will share it if you would like. Our daughter Sherri is married to Cam Millang, Glen and Susie’s son. They have two other children, Tanner, 16 and Lissy 12.
Ele’s follow up reply:
I forgot to add in my first reply that Devin is following in Grandpa Richard Slyter’s footsteps as he too trained at Camp Pendleton back in the late 60’s. Sorry about that.


Reply from Dave Slyter: Fargo, ND
Dick and Gary:

In defense of all drummers that played for Dunseith High School, I have to say that we only had to read one note but we sure had to keep everyone else in the beat. : ) Drummers have rhythm. ha The best drummer in my days of high school was of course Bill Berube and then Bob Mongeon. They really could pound those snare drums. The best timpani drummer was Lola Metcalfe (Vanory). She of course had to read notes. I always use to tease her about the song that we use to play in practice. The song was “What Lola Wants/Lola gets” ha I use to just smile at her and she would just give me that mean look. ha For memory sake, the most favorite song for pep rallies and home basketball games was Peter Gun and for High School concerts I think it was the William Tell Overture. Always got big applause for those songs. Of course, Christmas concerts were always a big hit. Those were the days. So Dick, I am glad that your dad got you to learn all the notes but give credit to the those awesome drummers. I know you envied us. ha

Dave Slyter (former percussionist)(70)

Reply from Dale Pritchard (63): Leesville, LA
The old crank phones had another unique feature. When it rang at your
home it also rang in the other homes on that particular line. A good
thing to remember was to not say something you did not want repeated —
the phone may have other ears!

Dale Pritchard

Dale, I remember those phones well. Margie Hiatt’s ring was two shorts a long and a short. Norman Hiatt’s was one long and a sort. Central was two longs. Stokes’ was one long. Those are the only numbers from that old crank phone system that I remember at the moment. There were no private phone calls in those days. In about 1963, those old crank phones were replaced with the current SRT phone system with underground wire. Gary

Clarence Bjornseth’s obituary posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.


Folks, Clarence is an ole Ackworth boy. When he was a kid I think his parents lived where Robert & Dorothy Pritchard later lived. I could be wrong about that though. That was before my day. Evon Lagerquist is currently living on that place now.



My Dad, Bob Stokes, and Clarence were both born on September 2nd. Dad in 1915 & Clarence in 1916. They always exchanged humorous birthday card. With our trips back to the area, each summer, over the years, we’d see Clarence, often, around Bottineau, often times with Wendal Cushing at the Bowling Alley cafe. Clarence was a really nice guy that we will dearly miss. Gary




Sept. 2, 1916-July 13, 2009




Clarence Bjornseth, age 92, of Bottineau, died Monday, July 13, 2009, in a Bottineau hospital.


His funeral will be held today, July 16, at 2:30 p.m. inFirstLutheranChurchin Bottineau. Visitation will be today from 9 a.m. until noon at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Burial will be inOak CreekCemeteryin Bottineau.


Clarence Bjornseth, a son of Art and Emma (Johnson) Bjornseth, was born September 2, 1916, atHomanTownshipnear Bottineau. He was raised there and attendedAckworthSchool. He was baptized and confirmed at theSalemLutheranChurchnorth of Bottineau. He later attended auctioneering school inAustin,Minn.He returned to Bottineau and worked at the Bottineau Creamery and as an auctioneer in the Bottineau area.


On October 3, 1943, he married DeElla Bollinger atFirstLutheranChurchinMinot. He later worked as a salesman for several businesses in Bottineau including Gamble’s Store, Vinje’s Department Store, The Toggery and Page Implement. In the early 1950s, he began his farming career and in 1954 he began selling Lutheran Mutual Insurance in addition to farming. He retired from farming in 1977 and continued to sell insurance until the early 1990s.


He was a member ofFirstLutheranChurchin Bottineau, where he taught Sunday school for 18 years. He also served as president of the church council and on several other committees in the church. He was a member of the Bottineau Men’s Chorus and the First Lutheran Church Men’s Quartet. He was instrumental in founding the Bottineau Jaycees and the International Seed Show. He was also awarded the Bottineau County Ag Person of the Year. Clarence was a big supporter of Bottineau athletics. He was awarded a lifetime pass to allBottineauHigh Schoolsporting events. He also attended 38 consecutive North Dakota State Basketball Tournaments.


Clarence passed away Monday, July 13, 2009, in a Bottineau hospital.


He is survived by: his wife, DeElla, of Bottineau; daughters, Carol Wall (Carl) of Fargo, and Connie Gorder (Orlando) of Bottineau; four grandchildren, Stephanie Smith (Steve) of Minneapolis, Kathryn Sandven (Terry) of Edina, Minn., Kristina Patel (Tejas) of Seattle, and Jon Gorder of Minneapolis; eight great-grandchildren, Samuel Smith, Jacob Smith, Henry Smith, Louis Smith, George Sandven, Edward Sandven and Charles Sandven and Kaia Patel; sister and brother-in-law, Myrtle and John Nickelson, Bottineau; sister-in-law, Lorraine Swanson, St. Augustine, Fla.; brother-in-law, Archie Bigwood of Bottineau; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister Mabel Bjornseth; sister and brother-in-law Evelyn and Armand Hall; sister-in-law Arloween Bigwood; brother-in-law William Swanson and mother and father-in-law Herman and Clara Mae Bollinger.



Class of 65 reunion 7-12-07

L To R: Angela Berube, Evie Gottberht, Gary Stokes, Bill Grimme

Standing in back: Allen Richard & his daughter Alaina. Sitting in Back: Bob Lykins


Terry and LeaRae Parrill Espe










Dean Pigeon Family


All rights reserved


Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.




I love all the pictures people are sending to you to include in your newsletter. :)


Thanks to Dave Slyter for asking about receiving your newsletters while you are on vacation. Now I know we won’t be. Have a wonderful trip. :)





Reply from Dick Johnson (68):Dunseith, ND


Gary and Friends,

That’s some good detective work, Paula! The concert was 1964. There
were at least a couple Community Choir Christmas concerts in those
years, but the pictures were from the ’64 concert. As far as my piano
days, I never got through the first book. I hated every minute of it!
You are right about Elsie Schneider being a good teacher and she had to
have extreme patience to continue giving lessons to me. I can’t remember
the song I had to play for the recital, but that is probably something
that I tried to forget! I do remember a piano song from the Fassett crew
and can still play it! The words were, “Once I had a violin, it’s
strings were made of twine—the only thing I could play on it was ‘The
Girl I Left Behind’. I think Crystal and Paula taught me that from their
dad’s songs. Maybe it has some verses that we shouldn’t repeat! I only
remember this one. We used to play piano with two people at a
time—this song and ‘Chop Sticks’, were the only two I could do! Sorry
Elsie! I’m sure Elsie thought I should be able to do much better because
of Dad’s abilities. It must have been disheartening for her to see my
lack of interest in the piano. In band I wanted to play the drums. Dad
said, “No way, you won’t learn music that way”. I ended up on the alto
saxophone and went to baritone sax and then the baritone horn, and
finally the valve trombone played in treble clef, for the last year of
school. He was right, I learned music and band was fun! Thanks Gary and




Dick Johnson’s reply to Neola’s question:


Gary and Neola,

Maryville and Shell Valley are two townships south and west of
Belcourt. Charlibois’ had a store along the road to Belcourt, six miles
east of Dunseith. I was at the store a few times with my dad when we
were over that way, many years ago. The paved road north out of Rolette
meets Highway 5. This is the corner where Betty’s Bar and the casino are
now located and is close to where Charlibois’ Store was. Maryville Twp.
is east of the Rolette road and Shell Valley is west of it, both on the
south side of HWY 5. My old buddy, Bob Roberge, is buried at St.
Marys-Maryville Cemetery which is about 5 miles straight south of
Belcourt. I hope this answers your question.





Reply from Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.


I noticed the phone number on the Theel advertisement…479. Our number, if you can call it that, on the old farmers line was one long, two shorts and one long. Plus you had to check to be sure no one was using the line before you started ringing someone. Ahh, the good ol’ days.

1953 Dunseith & Belcourt news posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: neola@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND.







Request from Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.
Ernie Gottbreht and Cheryl Baily have email!

Please add them to your mailing list. Thanks Gary.


Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO
Gary, I just want to mention another heart of gold in Dorothy Pritchards case. Mary Knutson has gone into town at least once a week for years to get Dorothys groceries, run errands and visit with her when she was at Oak Manor. She will shoot me for mentioning this, but I think she is pretty special too. And Dorothy is loved by everyone at Oak Manor. thanks. Sharon Gerdes.
Folks, For everyone’s info to fill in the blanks, Mary Eurich Knutson’s mother was Winifred Pritchard Eurich, sister to Robert Pritchard, Deceased, Dorothy’s husband.
Reply from Bill Pritchard: Bottineau, ND.
Gary –
I really appreciate getting these messages from you. Although I don’t know most of these people, I print these out for my mother, Doris Pritchard (who just turned 80 by the way). She enjoys reading about the people she grew up with and remembers most of the names mentioned in your newsletter. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Bill Pritchard
Bill, Like I mentioned in a personal message, I have now added you to our daily distribution. It’s wonderful that you are able to share these daily messages with your mother. Many of our readers remember your mother and her family, the Winthrop Smith family, well
Folks, Bill’s Dad, Corbin Pritchard, deceased, was also a brother to Robert and Winifred Eurich. I know most of you remember Pritchard’s shoe store in Bottineau. That was Corbin & Doris’ store. Doris, Bill’s mother is Doris Smith Pritchard from the class of 1946. Bill’s sister, Cheryl, is an RN at the Good Samaritan home in Bottineau. Gary
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

With Neola’s posting of the article on the Community Christmas
Program, I have to change the year from what I guessed–’65. It most
likely would have to have been 1964 because Alan Boguslawski and Bill
Grimme played a horn duet and they would have been out of school by
Christmas ’65. They were off at college but I suppose they could have
been home for Christmas. Bill, do you remember? I would like to write
the year on the pictures. It also said that a trio of Myra, Gail, and
Alan ‘Boguslawski’ sang a song. It should have been ‘Henning’. Thanks!


Reply from Paula Fassett (71): North Branch, MN

After seeing the newspaper clipping of the Dunseith Community Choir, I googled calendars and if the concert was December 20th and on a Sunday, that would make the 1964, I believe! Mrs. Elsie Schneider was the accompanist for the choir – and she also taught piano. I started lessons when I was in the 3rd grade, which would have been about 1962. Loraine and Loretta, Eleanor Dietrich, Diana Honsey must have been some of her piano students also. I’m sure she ‘encouraged’ us all to participate in the program! I was not usually a soloist – I only remember being the accompanist. Mrs. Schneider was a great lady and a talented pianist – and, I might add, a very patient teacher!!! She never scolded Crystal or I when we showed up Saturday morning for our piano lessons and had written in HOURS of practice time in our books when, in fact, we probably hadn’t even opened the books since the week before, and I’m sure the lack of practice showed! I think Dick Johnson was one of her piano student at one time, too – I remember a piano recital when Dick played something really lively….what was it, Dick?

Paula Fassett

Dick & Paula, I have reposted that article from yesterday for everyone’s reference. Gary




Pictures from Wayne (61) & Rosemary Smith: Bottineau, ND.



Wayne & I, plus Wayne’s cousins, have been looking at Audrey & Alfred Smith’s many pictures. The last blog/email had a clipping from Kelvin. Here are a couple of pictures of the Kelvin Homemakers. They were dressed in “funny clothes” for one of their meetings. We think we have identified all the ladies except one. Maybe someone out there can identify the unknown lady and confirm the identities of the others. We have lots of pictures of interest and will post them periodically on the blog. Have a good Alaskan trip!


Wayne (’61) & Rosemary Smith


(Gary: The dashes in the second attachment is for the middle unknown lady. Also, Eva & Clara’s last names are spelled correctly — differently)

Effie Espe, Eva Seim, Jessie Millang? (with big hat), Christine Carlson
& Martha Handeland


Clara Sime, Pat Myer, ??, Hannah Kirkwold, Dorothy Lamb


Posted by Neoa Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.



Dorothy Pritchard: Long Term at St. Andrews hospital, Bottineau, ND

Mary Eurich Knutson’s (62) reply to Gary: Dunseith, ND.
Hi Gary
Yes Dorothy is receiving your newsletters. She really appreciates them. As you know she didn’t grow up in Dunseith so the later pictures mean more to her than the older ones. She was a little under the weather for a couple of weeks. Thats the first time I had ever seen her not feeling well. She seemed more perky now on Saturday. I took her up to Mystic Horizons just a drive to get her out of the hospital for a little while. Take care!!
Mary Knutson
Mary, you are a lady with a heart of gold and a whole lot of patients. I know Dorothy will agree with me 100% on this one too.
Dorothy, We are so glad that you are getting these daily messages. If in the future you ever want to make any replies, I know the staff at St. Andrews will be glad to do so for you. All they have to do is hit the reply button to anyone of these messages and start typing and I will get the message.
Folks, For those of you wishing to send Dorothy a personal message, Just type “Attention Dorothy Pritchard” in the subject line and she will get it. Her email address is Gary



Reply from Cecile Carbonneau Marchand (51): Kenosha, WI & Clearwater, FL



Hi Gary: I have really enjoyed your blog. I can truthfully say that I do not remember a lot of the people but today when Florence Hiatt Dahl wrote, it brought back memories. We went to school together (I left before graduation as I thought at the time it was more important to get married than to graduate High School. I corrected that later, but now marrried for 58 years, it seems like yesterday. My husband Maurice Marchand are planning a trip to ND in August (God willing0. as I am looking forward to visiting with my brother Emery Carbonneau and family and a stop by Fargo to see my sister Rita Anderson. Keep up the good work and I sure wish we could have taken that trip to Alaska as it sounds like it will be great. Keep up the good work.




Postings from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.



Hi Everyone,
As you can see, I’ve been looking at old newspapers again. :) I didn’t want to cut the Kelvin news from the Courant to scan it, so I included the “extra” material, too.
I learned something from this column. I have a difficult time remembering Thelma Johnson’s/Dorothy Halvorson’s/Mrs. Medrud’s maiden name. A short while ago, I read their name again. After reading this column, I see their parents are M/M Sigurd Christianson. Maybe I can remember that now–or not!











Not sure of the year




Question from David Slyter (70): Fargo, ND
Hi Gary:

Great picture of your dad this morning in the blog. Just have a quick question. While you are on the cruise will the daily blog seize during that time or are you going to work thru your vacation trip to Alaska. Those of us that are not going to be able to take the cruise should probably prepare ourselves for withdrawal systems while you are on vacation. :) Just wondering as I am sure many are.

Dave Slyter (70)

David (Dave), From my school days I remember you as David and your brothers as Bobby and Richard. I believe Richard is still Richard today though. We have a few other folks too that folks remember well with their names of the time. Kenny Nerpel, Billy Grimme, Leland Stickland and a few others. For many folks, this is who you guys will always be and that’s great! Early on with the class of 65 correspondence, Ken and Bill did not escape being Kenny and Billy that had escaped them for 40 plus years too.
To answer your question. I will not be able to post the daily blog while I am in the states. I have my computer all set up to send these, so it would be chore sending them from another computer. Believe it or not, I use multiple programs to put these messages together each day that I wouldn’t have available on a public computer. I don’t have or use a laptop. If I had a laptop, it would just be another tool that I’d have to keep updated and I don’t really have a need for one. I will make up for lost time with these daily messages when I get back home to the PI. I hope to have some pictures too.
Bernadette and I will be leaving Cebu going to Manila on July 22nd. We’ll be catching an early flight out of Manila on North West to Seattle on the morning of July 23rd. We depart Manila at 8:10 AM on the 23rd and we arrive in Seattle, 45 minutes later on the same day, at 8:55 AM. The total flight time, with a stop in Japan, is 15 hours and 45 minutes. Coming back, bucking the trade winds, our total flight time is 17 hours and 40 minutes. Headed east with the jet stream, the air speed is about 700 MPH. On the way back, going west, the air speed is about 540 MPH. Bill Hosmer and LaVerne Rude, I know you guys have flown many aircraft over the Pacific in your days. Bernadette and I will be leaving Seattle on August 12th, returning to the Philippines. We’ll be back home the morning of the 14th our time, the evening of the 13th back in the states. Gary
Pictures posted by Sharron Gottbreth Shen (59): Everett, WA

Dale & Alma Gottbreht’s sons – June 2009:

L to R: Bill, George (61), Marc & Ernie (65)

Picture taken June 2009:


L to R: Ernie Gottbreht, Cheryl Bailey, Victor & Sharron Gottbreht Shen



Reply to the Kelvin news pasted below from Florence Hiatt Dahl (50): Anchorage, AK.
Folks, I forwarded Florence an advance copy of the 1952 Kelvin news posted below. This news mentions Florence visiting Dorothy Christianson. Dorothy is married to Lester Halvorson. They live on the county line 1 1/2 miles west of the former Willow lake school site. Lester and Dorothy’s daughter, Lynn Halvorson Otto (75), who is currently living in Seoul, Korea, forwards each of these daily messages to her folks. Gary
Florence’s reply:
I remember that visit vividly..Dorothy and I changed all the sheets–bedding. We took off Trinity sheets and put on Trinity sheets. Her sister had graduated from Trinity the year before I started. As you can tell it shocked me———-thought I had forgot it and seeing that blurb brought it all back…and so many years ago. Dorothy and I remained friends for years, and try to see her when I go back to N.D. Going back for a nurses reunion August 17 th. and will stay for a week after the reunion. So of course I’ll give her a call and probably have lunch with her. Thanks Gary. And God bless you. Florence

1952 Kelvin News provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND





Folks, Fern Cote Berube is the widow of Lawrence Berube. They owned the big round barn that was located across the road and a little bit to the east of Dale’s. That big round barn was quite famous for dances in it’s day. Fern and Lawrence are the parents of Robert (62), Rachael (62), Angela (65) & Muzette (74). Fern is currently living in an assisted living home in Minneapolis near her daughter Angela.



Robert, Rachael, Angela & Muzette; This is a beautiful picture of your mother. This is one of the many pictures Neola Kofoid Garbe has provided.



Fern Cote Berube



Fern (Cote) Berube Family 02-10-07 on Fern’s 90th Birthday

L to R (Back) Angela, Rachael, Muzette & Robert. Fern in front



Previously posted with message 157 on 1/7/08

Picture/message from Sharon Peterson Harmsen (63): Bismarck, ND
Hello Gary and All from Bismarck, ND
On May 5, 2008, Email # 94, Shirley Brennan said —– My dad, Ray Brennan, was supposed to fight in WWI along with Max Peterson and three other men. The war ended while they were riding the train to Churches Ferry. She wanted to know who the other men were. I share all the emails with my mother, Joy Peterson who still lives in Dunseith, and she thought she had a picture of the four men who left that day to fight in the war. She has located a picture and isn’t it a great one…………Two of the gentlemen are my grandfathers, one on my dad’s side and the other on my mom’s side of the family. Standing in the back is Ray Brennan, Max Peterson at his right arm, Nels Landsverk in the center and Lee Stickland.
Enjoy the photo as we have.
Sharon Peterson Harmsen (class of 63)
Sharon, I hope you realize the many relatives these gentleman have that are on our distribution list. These guys are parents, grandparents & great grandparents to a whole host of you folks out there. This is a great picture and will bring back a lot of memories for a lot of folks. For group emailing, the file size of this picture has been greatly reduced. For those of you that would a full size copy, for printing, I’m sure Sharon would be glad to send you the full size scanned copy.
Shirley Brennan, It has taken a while, but your question got answered.
Thank you Joy & Sharon for sharing this with us. Gary
Front L to R: Lee Stickland, Nels Landsverk & Max Peterson
Standing in back: Ray Brennan



Email address change for Marshall Awalt (51): Newport, NC
Our new e-mail address after this weekend will be the
Reply from Sybil Johnson:Cheyenne, WY
Gary and all,
I have enjoyed the stories about “Pa” Johnson. It broke my heart, when we lost him, so many years ago. He had a gentle soul, until he got angry. But, otherwise, he was always outside working in his gardens. I remember when we use to bring the kids up from Minot and how he spoiled them.
I would lay them down for a nap and the next thing, there was “Pa” sitting on the bed in the pump room, feeding them coffee and cookies. He loved his grandkids and he would literally get down on his hands and knees, playing with them.
He came from Little Hamar, Norway, when he was 14 years old. They had found his father hanging from a tree, where he had been lynched and his belongings had been stolen.
He came over to the United States, with his mother, stepfather, and his brother and sister–Uncle Hans and Aunt Cynthia. I also remember, how he hated wearing his hearing aids, because they buzzed to much in his ears and his false teeth, because he couldnt chew with them. They were always up on top of the cabinet in the kitchen.
Take care everyone. Sybil Johnson
From Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA

Just a footnote to Fishing News, Mobridge, SD. It was necessary for our host at the Wrangler Inn to shift us about somewhat; Victor and I switched up the hall a bit, Ernie and Cheryl moved to a ground level room with chairs outside the door for coffee and a morning smoke. We might have used those chairs once, thereafter for the remainder of our stay they were occupied by prairie dog hunters who had reservations dating from March! Vic and Ivan had laughed about the courtesy request posted in each room [big city boys], but all was clear once they saw the booted and fully armed huntsmen with their dogs arrive and park themselves in their and Ernie’s chairs at any and all hours!



It reminded me of the prairie dog village in the field adjoining our new home, occupied in 1954. I often hid in a nearby buffalo wallow and whistled the numerous creatures from their tunnels. A favorite time of year would be May when the blue-grey prairie “crocus” blooms were everywhere in that field. Much later I learned that it was also called the Pasque Flower, Anemone pulsatilla. I have planted such “crocuses” in both NY and WA just for the joy they give each early spring and the memory of home.



We passed a prairie dog village on our return to Bismarck along scenic route 1806. Their community was in a fenced pasture and I am sure pose an injury problem for the many cattle herds we saw. Sad to think the little fellows were hunted with such enthusiasm and we did not stop the car to record their peaceful existence, ignorant of any threat.



Floyd (59) & Ann Pritchard’s Wedding in Tucson, AZ




Prevously posted with message 151 on 7/4/08

From Bonnie Awalt Houle (56):
Good Morning Gary,
Today is the 4 of July and we are celebrating the Birthday of our Country and also the men and women that have fought for our country. I would like to say how proud we are of our family members that have fought for the freedom we all enjoy. Attached are pictures of Marshall and Lloyd Awalt . Lloyd served in the Navy and Marshall served in the Marines for 30 years.
Bonnie Awalt Houle 1956



Marshall Awalt aboard ship





Marshall and Lloyd Awalt – Military




Marshall Awalt – Military





Leonard Kavlie family:

L to R: Leonard, Curtis, Dot, Duane, Jerry(adopted)

& Hampton Kavlie



I think this this picture must have been taken in 1977

when Dad was the Bottineau Legion Commander? Gary


Bob Stokes in his legion uniform




Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Thanks for clarifying that you don’t put e -addresses over the Dunseith blog.
I have many kith and kin in my address book, scattered throughout the
US and Canada, not all Dunseith alumni. However, many continue to
keep connections with their Dunseith Kith/Kin, so I like to share
your blog with them.
I truly appreciate and continue to marvel at all you do, Gary and
that you do it so respectfully.
I wish you Happy Trails……./Flight/Sails…. as you journey to the
Pacific North West to embark on the much anticipated Alaska Cruise.
May you all have a wonderful time and continue to maintain the
Dunseith…bridges as you experience this new adventure together.
Bless you! As ever Vickie

Vickie L. Metcalfe
Vickie, Thank you so much for these nice words. I know you well enough to know that you are not one to say a bunch of words just to make someone feel good if you don’t truly believe what you are saying, so these words coming from you are very special to me. Gary.
Reply from Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, Nd
Gary I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the pictures and comments on the older residents of the community. I especially liked the picture of Axel Johnson with his horse and buggy. Some of the older folks really lived thru some rough times. I think this is where we’ve all more or less inherited the instinct (if you will) to help those in need. Story has it that Axel’s first wife and baby died in the flu epidemic in the early 1900’s. Axel also had the flu and he was too sick to help his wife and baby and he layed in bed for 3 days after they died before anybody found them. Had to be a terrible experience. Maybe somebody else remembers more detail than I do. The picture of Billy Lawrence kind of tickled me too. A couple of days before that was posted I was wondering if anybody would remember him. I had been with my Dad different time when he took irons in to have shaped or bent. I still remember Dad tellling me to stay away from the red hot coals. Not much danger, you didn’t have to be close to feel the heat. Todays letter was great! Dave Kraft was my Dad’s uncle and that picture of their family really made my day.
Folks, speaking of pictures, please send any that you may have both of the present and of the past that you think may be of interest to the group. We have come to realize that people like pictures. Can you imagine the fun future Dunseith genealogy folks will have with all the stuff we will leave behind for them to go through. Gary
Message from Bobby Slyter (70): Wichita, Kansas
Bobby, Ele/Richard & David; We’d love to see some pictures if you guys have any you’d like to share. Gary

Message/Stories from Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND



How are you? I hope this letter finds you and your family well. We are all well here. North Dakota is finally nice and green after many dry years. With all the moisture the reservoirs are filling up and even the western part of the state looks great. The crops are nice and green and thick, The hay fields are lush. the pastures have grass up to the cows knees. I can tell you how great everything looks because I’m not a farmer. A farmer as you know can’t say how great everything is until the grain is in the bin, the hay has been stacked and moved into the farm yard, and the cows and calves are back home in the corral, because they don’t want to jinx anything by talking about it. I’m not a farmer so I can tell you that it is looking like a great year in North Dakota for everybody.

Have a good day Gary.

Your friend,


Larry, thank you so much for these wonderful stories. You truly are a great story writer. We love them. Gary

Art Siem and AxelJohnson stories from Larry Hackman:

The stories and pictures of Art Siem and Axel Johnson recently posted, reminded my brother and I of a couple of stories.


My brother, Henry (class of 65) related this story to me about Axel and our dad, Clarence, catching a thief.Henry said, that Axel had come over to visit with dad.This was after my dad had lost his ability to walk and we had moved from the farm in the hills, to Dunseith.Axel says to my brother Henry, ” that your dad could run like a deer in his younger days”.Then Axel told him a story about when he was a Game Warden and he had come up to Carpenter Lake to check on complaints that someone was stealing peoples traps and muskrats from the muskrat huts.


You trap muskrats by chopping or augering a hole into the side of their mud and grass huts, that they usually build in the water, near to the shore.


Some people say that the further out into the lake they build their huts, the drier the year will be, and vice versa, the closer to shore they build them, the wetter the year will be?After chopping the hole in the hut, you place the trap in the hut, with the chain from the trap anchored to the outside of the hut. Then you fill the hole you made into the hut with the material you removed to get into the hut.


Our farm in the Turtle Mountians was located about a half mile west of Carpenter Lake.Anyway, what Axel said was that dad and him had made their way from the farm through the snow down to the lake and had just cleared the tree line and was scoping out the snow covered icy surface of the lake. The lake surrounded with all the muskrat mounds and cat tails was quiet and casting long shadows, as the sun was just going down. Most trappers check their traps in the early morning hours when the sun is coming up. They saw movement and at about the same time the man, who was bent over removing a trap from a hut saw them.He threw the traps he had collected over his shoulder with the rats still in them and took off running across the lake.Axel said, with the head start the man had and with the way he was running, he thought there was no way they were going to catch him.He said, Clarence our dad, grabbed a scoop shovel and took out after him and before that guy got half way across the lake, Clarence, our dad had caught up to him and clobbered him along side the head with the scoop shovel, knocking him out, colder then a cucumber.



Art Siem Story

Damned if you do.Damned if you don’t.




I was at home in bed sleeping as I was scheduled to work the next day (Sunday) at Robert’s Service Station.It was about midnight when the phone rang.It was the A/C Bar.They asked if I could drive a farm truck.I said, Yes, that I had driven farm trucks before.They asked if I could come up and drive Art Siem home.He had apparently taken a load of grain to town and sold it, and on his way home he thought he would just stop off at the A/C Bar and just have one.Well, anyway, they explained that he was in no condition to drive, and they were wondering if I could come up and drive him home.I said that I would and that I would be right up.They asked if I needed somebody to follow me up into the hills to bring me back to town.I said no,that I would have my sister follow me up and bring me back to town.


I don’t know if I thought about it then, but thats all I would of needed is for someone, that was sitting in the bar all night, following me, and then trying to drive me home.


I got up to the bar and got Art into the truck and drove him up into the farm yard. There was no yard light or at least it wasn’t on.It was pitch dark. I mean it was as dark as dark could be.My sister following behind the truck pulled up along side of the truck with the car, shining the head lights so that we could see..Art got out and disappeared fast into the night. The last thing I remember about Art that night, was that, when he got out of the truck and started walking he kept going faster and faster as he was trying to keep a leg between his upper body and the ground.He must have been successful at that as I didn’t see him fall and he diappeared fast into the night.


The next day I went to work at Robert’s Gas Station. It was about mid-afternoon.It was busy.Quite-a-few people standing around inside the station.All at once the front door burst open and in came Art Siem with another gentleman.Art was looking mad and bad with all the after affects of the night before plainly visible in his eyes, on his face, and in the way he was dressed,He was plainly one hurting unit. He looked around the inside of the station letting his eyes adjust to the change of light.His eyes finally met mine and he exclaimed! You stole my truck!I looked at him and kind of laughed and asked him?What side of the road do you live on?The west side or the east side?He said, the east side!Because as soon as he accused me of stealing his truck, it hit me that I had driven it and parked it in the wrong farm yard. Carrol Carlson’s farm yard.Apparently at the time he or I didn’t know what farm yard we were in or he was unable to tell me which farm yard we were in. Anyway, I had parked the truck in the farm yard west of the road. That night,


Art just diappeared into the night and I jumped into the car with my sister and went back to town and back to bed. After telling Art that his truck was parked in Carrol’s farm yard.Art just turned around and left the staion without saying a word.I just wonder to this day, whose house did he sleep in that night? I know Carrol was a good shot with a rifle.I had hunted with him in my younger years.Everybody party hunts deer in the hills and always have the best shots post in the openings, because if you see a deer that was run out of the woods by the other members of the party, you only have a instant to aim and shoot before the deer is back into cover.Carrol was one them guys you wanted posting in the opening as he never missed.Its a wonder that he didn’t come out and streighten us all out that night.He must not of been home. Lucky us.


A couple of comments:


I watched a couple of Hee Haw reruns and I think Buck Owens sings through his mouth.


I like the hits; I’ve got a Tiger by the Tail, and Act Naturally.His son, Buddy Alan, once put a show on at the Althea Theatre in Dunseith.He sung through his mouth also.Might have had a bigger crowd if he had sung through his nose. lol.



Isn’t it also strange, on them old pictures of cities and towns, that there are no trees, and hardly a blade of grass.I suppose when they woke up in the morning and the drinking water in the pail had turned to ice and they wanted their morning coffee like we do now.


That tree out in the front yard didn’t stand a chance, as wood was the main source of heat for heating the house and for cooking?I’m sure that with the horse they kept in the yard for transportation and that cow for milk and them chickens for eggs and meat there was know grass to mow.Look how the refrigerator has changed us?


Just think if you wanted fast food in them days it was provided with a ax.A ax was used to cut the wood for the stove and to remove the chickens head. Didn’t the first pictures of Col. Sanders show him standing with a ax over his shoulder and with a long stick with a wire hook on the end for catching the chicken by the leg in the other hand or was that, that guy from Minnesota with the blue ox?



I thought for sure I would get a reply from my old buddy and classmate Jay Vanorny with that onion story about his Grandpa.Maybe he did signal me.I just couldn’t see his hand with all the trees between there and here?


Remember: Laugh and the whole world laughs with you!



Message/pictures from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Paula Fassett brought up the Community Christmas Concerts we had back
in the mid 60s. I think Dad was encouraged to direct the choir made up
of all ages of folks from the area. I remember I was also ‘encouraged’
by Dad to be in it, although at the time I was one of the only kids my
age involved. The school choirs were also involved in the Christmas
programs, again under his direction. The pictures below are of one of
these concerts and were taken in the old city hall. The little girl by
Dad is Diane Hill. Next to her are Paula Fassett and Gail Henning. My
guess is Christmas 1965. Thanks Gary!




Reply from Sandra Zeiler Vandal (62): Elk River, MN
Hi Gary, and new to the list Brent Vandal. Joe Vandal, married to Josephine Davis lived by Belcourt. Joe was a brother to Leonard Vandal, who was Mikes dad. So do you come from that branch? That would be interesting to find out if there is a connection. Looking forward to seeing even a small part of Alaska. Sandra
Reply from Brent Vandal: Anchorage, AK
My grandfathers name is Louis Vandal, he married Corrine Davis now Corrine vandal from Dunseith, I am related to the vandal’s from Belcourt and St.. john. I have lived in Alaska now for two months. I like it but it is tough to get on my feet I’m transferring my job from the lowes in Alaska to the lowes in Bismarck to stay with a friend there.
Are Corrine and Josephine Davis related? How are Joe and Louis Vandal related? Gary
Message from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Kith and Kin,
If you are interested there is a photo of our dear family friend..(
Conrid’s uncle) Art Seim today on this Dunseith Alumni blog. If you
please, go to…

Also, a photo today and on previous Gary Stokes blogs of Dick
Johnson’s great-uncle Axel. One photo is in the early 1900’s. In
youth, after his real father was murdered in Norway, Axel came over
on a shIp, with his mother and 2 siblings. ( this according to his
daughter Mary Johnson (Seigrist), who told me her family story.)
Axel’s 1st wife died of the Spanish flu in 1918. His second wife,
Bernice Kelly was Mary’s mom. There is another photo of Axel, aged,
as folks would recall him the night watchman at Dales.

Axel Johnson had many fine character attributes and was very
respected and highly regarded by our Metcalfe Kith and Kin, and also
his many friends and neighbors in the Dunseith area.

My dad , Cliff and Uncle Bill Metcalfe, would visit and tell the
family story of, “Axel the Game Warden” In the 20’s or 30’s Axel
was attempting to solve a case, and find information on a
continuing mystery. Who was apparently illegally trapping muskrats
at area lakes and sloughs? Axel came in a buggy, to the Metcalfe farm
north of Rabbit City Lake. He stopped his horse in the barn area.
Getting out of the buggy, he stood and greeted various members of
the Metcalfe family, he stated his business. He said he was working
on his game warden job. Axel began to lecture the group assembled
before him about the seriousness of criminal activities such
as………out-of-season trapping. He led them to believe he was
suspicious of some local youth and was hot on their trail. He wasn’t
going to name any names..not quite….yet…. until he had real
proof. Maybe when he caught them in action. As he sternly lectured,
he walked back and forth over……the manure pile……under-which,
one or more of the boys had secured…a stash in a box…a big stash
buried just… a wee bit… under the surface of the Metcalfe manure
pile. Very nervous Metcalfe youth kept still, extremely quiet, as
they stood attentively, listening,….held their breath, and
wondered if Axel would start pitching manure or if he heard a
telltale clomping muffled sound while he paced over the
box….After giving them this fine lecture and the stern warning that
he was continuing his pursuit, Axel finally got in his buggy and
left the quiet lot…..in the barn yard.
Whoooeee, relieved… those boys exhaled. The “stash was never
uncovered by Axel”. He never caught his man?
Many years later at Dales, Axel told dad his side of the tale…..Dad
came to the conclusion that the whole time, as he paced….. Axel

Does else remember this Metcalfe tale?

Vickie, you referenced the Dunseith Alumni site. http://garystokes.net/default.aspx Since developing this site a few months back, we have had in excess of 3,000 visitors. We had over 900 visitors just in the month of June. After seeing these numbers I will be a bit more disciplined in posting the daily blog in a timely manor on this sight. For everyone’s info I don’t always post everything on the WEB site that is sent out in the email blog. I do not post email addresses and personal contact info on the WEB site either. Gary
Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY
Gary, that was a fabulous picture of Pa Johnson. Thank you, so much. I hadn’t seen that one. Who was the person next to him?
That was the Pa I remember. He was the best! Sybil Johnson
Thurman & Marie Parrill Family:
Back row: Janet ’68, Clayton, 72 and Thurman
Seated: Lynda ’69, Rodney ’73, Myron ’76 and Marie
Previously posted with message 148 on 7/1/08
Picture/message from Dick Johnson (68):Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

I have quite a few pictures of my mom’s that were taken in the mid
forties. I think she was a ‘shutterbug’ as there are many pictures that
are not for any real occasion, that I can see. It would appear she just
liked to take pictures! Now, 60 years later I’m glad she did! These two
attached pictures are of Mom’s sister, Shirley Olson Warcup [black
skirt] and Shirley Sunderland and both were taken in 1946. A couple
cuties! [Sorry Snookie!] Thanks Gary!

Shirley Olson Warcup (49)
Mike & Josephine Poitra family:
Top row : Virginia, Dale, Ina, Antonio, Vita, Gene, Raymond
Second Row: Peter, Ester, Josephine(Mother), Mike(Dad)Mabel
Bottom row: Maryann, Linda and Gerladine
Dave Kraft Family:
Annie, Bertha, Dave, Lester (Bud), Bertha, Marlene, Dorothy Kraft – 1969
Rodney & Marlene Armentrout Family – 1969
Marlene , Rodney, Debbie, Brent & Bryan



I thought I throw this strange picture in for a filler. Gary



Elaine, Darrel (Bud), Allen, Gary & Bob Stokes – 1969




Reply from Rita Anderson, Mark’s (65) mother: Fargo, ND
Hi Gary Was reading the news about Dunseith past. Saw the picture of Mark Anderson. It was a good picture of him. Suppose you knew that he had passed away a few years ago, in Duluth, Minn. of cancer. Thanks Rita Anderson
Picture from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

I was in Dunseith today and stopped in at the drive-in to eat. Amy
Hanson said she hasn’t gotten any messages since your computer crashed.
She said she really misses it. Her address is <
> although it may still be in your address
book. Thanks!


Dick, There was a period of about two months prior to my computer crash that I lost all those folks that were added during that time.
Amy, you were one of them. You are back in my address book now though.
Thank you Dick, Gary
Message/Picture from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

Several times the Fassett girls have mentioned being at my
Grandparents farm. It was quite often that the families got together at
one place or the other for meals and visiting. We had a couple pins and
a set of horseshoes and Bill was a great player—‘dead ringer’, I
remember that. The afternoon was usually finished off with horseshoes
and often fish stories! The old horseshoes and the pins are actually
grown into the bottom of an old boxelder tree in the old yard, right
where they were put close to 50 years ago, after one of the days of
playing a few friendly games. Thanks Gary!


The Bill and Irene Fassett Family–July 23, 1963




Class of 65 reunion 7-12-07

John Awalt



Class of 65 reunion 7-12-07


Susan Fassett Martin & Angela Berube Malget



Class of 65 reunion 7-12-07


Ernie Gottbreht, Cecile Berube Reynolds & Margaret Metcalfe Leonard



Axel Johnson in 1965







Art Sime




Reply from Dale Pritchard (63): Leesville, LA



Speaking of Herman Hagen, I think that first Ford that I remember was a
1950 model. He traded it for a 57 that I believe his/a brother got when
Herman died. He sold the 50 Ford to Darrel Landsverk who died in a
wreck with it on the Willow Lake road. My brother Darold had a 50 Ford
also and Norris Knutson had a 50 Mercury (maybe a 49) which shared many
of the same appearance characteristics. They were really “heavy”
looking cars. So you have a birthday coming up later this month. My
own is August 31st. I won’t say how old but I’ll be two ahead of you

Dale A. Pritchard


Dale, That was a 1950 ford that I remember Herman Hagen having too. That is the only car I ever remember him having.



Speaking of Herman Hagen and Albert Hiatt’s neighborhood (they lived side by side one mile south of #43), I remember hitting one of Albert’s cows in the middle of winter. Larry Millang and I think Joanne was with us too when we hit that cow. We were on our way to Bottineau for a night out of skating. Albert and Alice Hiatt were vacationing and Denny left the gate open and the cows got out. It was really icy and I was traveling a bit fast for the road conditions too when we saw these cows in the road. Needless to say I couldn’t stop and hit one of the cows. That ended our night on the town. I don’t remember if the cow lived, but I do remember the extensive damage to the car. I’m not sure why we were going that way to Bottineau in the first place. My guess is that we were probably passing by Orvin Hagen’s. Gary



Top: Margaret Metcalfe (65), Dana Henriksen (66), Cecile Berube (65), Angela Berube (65)



Bottom: Mark Anderson (65), Patty Boguslawski (65),Debra Mongeon (66)





Alan (65) & Rhonda Boguslawski – 2007




Alan Boguslawski (65)






Previously posted with message 134 on 6/16/08

Message/Pictures from Dick Johnson (68):


Gary and Friends,

Folks had fun 50 years ago too!! These pictures pretty well tell the story!

The two top pictures are in the Garden Tap–Margaret Hiatt, Joyce Evans,
Joe Evans, Freddie Hiatt.– Cliff Johnson, Joy Johnson, Bernice Johnson,
‘half’ of Don Johnson.


Bottom pictures–Cliff and Don with each others
hats[ Laurel and Hardy!]– Joyce Evans, Henry Olson, Myrtle Olson,
Loretta Johnson, Thelma Johnson, Darrel Fassett. I think this picture
was in the old Corner Bar, across the street from the Althea Theater.
The top photos are dated May 1960–The bottom left, 1962. The bottom
right had to be before Oct. 1959, as that is when Grandpa Henry Olson
died at 56 years of age. Thanks Gary!





May 1960 in the Garden Tap:


Margaret Hiatt, Joyce Evans,
Joe Evans, Freddie Hiatt.–


May 1960 in the Garden Tap:
Cliff Johnson, Joy Johnson, Bernice Johnson,
‘half’ of Don Johnson.



1962 in the Corner Bar:


Cliff and Don Johnson with each others
hats[ Laurel and Hardy!]–





October 1959


Joyce Evans, Henry Olson, Myrtle Olson, Loretta Johnson,


Thelma Johnson, Darrel Fassett





Request from Florence Hiatt Dahl (50): Anchorage, AK

Hello from Alaska………This is a small world…………Last week I was in Lowe’s hardware to buy cement, sand, five gallon “pails” for my latest –my poor family–oh no, what is Mom creating now………….and the poor soul that got the honor to carry all this to my subaru was friendly. So of course I asked the usual questions–Are you an old time Alaskan? Where are you from? And shock of shock. His answer–North Dakota. Oh, I’m from N.D. allso. I’m from Dunseith. The poor kid allmost fainted. I’m from Belcourt, he allmost yelled. We were instant buddies. He would love to be on your list Gary..So here goes…….Brent Vandal Were getting so many souls from the Dunseith area in Anchorage we’ll have to have a reunion or something.

Brent, It is a small world. It’s my pleasure to add you to our distribution list. I think you are probably related to Mike (Sandra Zeiler (62) Vandal too. Gary
From Marie Iverson Staub (60): Seattle, WA

Hi Gary,


This morning I received 2 E-Mails Number 501 time 6:24PM and 11:05PM. It has happened before and I just delete one but you may have double sent and someone will not be getting there morning fix.

Thanks again for all you do and looking forward to meeting you and Bernadette at the dinner in Seattle.


Marie (Iverson) Staub

Marie, Thank you so much for letting me know you got yesterday’s message twice. You were very correct with your thinking that I had sent it to your group twice and missed another group. I missed the group with a lot of the 50’s folks. They’ve got it now though, thanks to you.
Folks, if you get these messages twice, I’ve probably missed someone, so please let me know. Because of limitations imposed by email providers, I currently have you guys divided up into 8 different lists for distribution using multiple email address for sending. Each and everyone of my email addresses are good email addresses for sending messages to me too. The beauty of Outlook Express brings all messages from all my email accounts into one window. Gary
Reply from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC
Hi Gary, What Picture??? If your lost as to what I’m referring to just the frame, and no picture came through….at least on mine . Even when I click on the little x in the box it does nothing….but maybe I’m not doing it right…Thanks for the kind words in ref to the photo…You were 1/2 way right about where I work. It’s a Level 5 lock down facility for teenagers. Level 5 means thier one mistake away from prison…(Like assaulting a staff member…which they do quite often…which thank God I only got smacked around 3 times in 30 yrs. and the worse injury I got,was a torn retina in my eye,which ended up to be a very long term injury…But God is good,and I love my job,and am so blest to have one…Take Care…Aggie
Aggie’s reply after I resent her the picture. Gary
Hey Gary, Yeah, now they both came thru…when I pulled it up 5 hours later there it was….Thanks Gary!

Folks, This appears to be a common server problem. Another solution that sometimes works too is to do a forward or a reply to the message, but don’t send it. Often times these pictures or other items that don’t appear in your message will be visible in the forwarded or reply copy on your screen. Gary


Correction to 1945 Basketball picture posted yesterday:
From Mona Dionne Johnson (48): Lake Metigoshe, ND
The player without a number next to Coach Shelver is “Raymond”
Haagenson – not Norman.
Mona Dionne Johnson ‘ ’48


Reply from Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL




Glad you and Dick liked my fashion statement. My daughter-in-law snapped this picture on the 4th. I had the pleasure of 19 house guests–children and grandchildren. A few were missing – too old for such foolishness, I guess. We had a great day. Hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday weekend.


Memories from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

In a lame attempt to poke fun at our good friend Bill Grimme, I’d like
to tell another story about him. Somewhere probably around 1968-70 some
guys started an arcade for kids in the old K. C. Sine ‘Red and White’
store. They painted the windows over with psychedelic paisley designs
and had music going loud. The name of the place was ‘The Mod House’.
Bill was hired as the manager/’bouncer’. I think he was probably home
from college for the summer that year. OK, here’s the good part! Bill
got into the act and shaved his head! I was driving down Main with some
buddies in my car and we saw Bill standing outside with a white T-shirt
on and his arms folded. He was in great physical shape and with the bald
head, one of my buddies said, ” Hey look, it’s Mr. Clean”. We all
cracked up! Bill didn’t hear us, luckily, or we may not have survived!
Now you know, Bill! More history of old Dunseith! Thanks Gary!


Dick, I remember hearing about Bill’s bald head and I wasn’t even in the area. I heard it from several sources, but for the life of me I can not remember who I heard it from.
Bill, at the time everyone, everywhere seemed to know about your bald head. Word traveled fast in those days too. I’ll glady trade you for your head of hair today though. Gary
Picture from Crystal Fassett Andersen (70): Walhalla, ND
Just so Bill didn’t feel bad, here’s a picture of Dale & I and most of our kids and grandkids at last fall’s Annual Pumpkinfest,here in Walhalla ND. It’s a 60’s thing,I think,Bill.!! Crystal Fassett Andersen Front row:Elijah Gunderson,Shawn Bartels, Erika Gunderson,Aliyah Bartels,Nicole Berg (“08 Pumpkin Princess)Sarah & Marta Gunderson Back: Ryan and Joni (Andersen) Bartels, Tyler Gunderson & fiancee’ Vanessa Belgarde,Jason,Caylee & Becky (Andersen) Berg, Noah & Aaron Gunderson, Crystal & Dale Andersen
Picture 1944:
Back: Coach W.Schultz, Charles (Pug Lund, Wayne Molgard, Freddie Hiatt, Bob Molgard,Leo Murray, student Mgr. Howard Landsverk.
Front: Roger Johnson, Don Johnson, Lyle Johnson ?, Bruce Cornell, Allison Fiske









Axel Johnson




Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

In response to the picture of our friend Bill Grimme, Bill—being
conservative is good, but you could upgrade your wardrobe to something
with a little more color! Drab is out! Come on, get with it!


Dick, Bill’s outfit reminded me of the song “My clothes of many Colors”. I’ll have to say Bill looked pretty sharp in that outfit. Gary
Memories from Dick Johnson:

I too can remember an incident involving your brother, Allen. We were
all down at Rendahl sledding on a hill to the east of the church, on a
Luther League gathering. I had driven a bunch of kids up in my old ’47
Plymouth. I had grips on the back that I bought from George and Lela
Cota for $5.00. I told Allen that with those grips and the weight of
that car I could go damn near anywhere I wanted without getting stuck.
He said he didn’t think that car was so heavy after which he backed up
against it and grabbed the rear fender and then lifted the tire off the
ground. We were pretty impressed that he could lift that much for a big
skinny kid like that! That was in the winter of ’64-’65. I remember the
year because that was when I drove that car.


Dick, Allen was noted for having a lot of muscle power. Nobody wanted to mess with big Al. Allen in his day was pretty well known by the local police too, for his driving habits. I remember one time he had a pretty noisy car that he was cruising around Bottineau in. He was warned by the local police to get that thing out town. A week or so later he was back in town with that same noisy car. When they pulled him over again, the officer said to him, “I thought I told you to get this thing out of town” and Allen’s reply to the officer was, “I did get out of town, but I’m back”. With all of the traffic violations that Allen had he lost his licenses, but still continued to drive. It became quite a game for the local sheriff’s and highway patrol to try and catch him. They always had reports that he was on the road, but were never able see him. He always saw them first and was able to dodge them. Those were the days. Gary
Picture from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC
Hey Gary, To some of the people who have e-mailed me and requested a picture cuz I didn’t make it to the class reunion…this would be me…taken last August,and getting older…LOL… Hope you all have a Blest Day!
Aggie, This is a mighty fine picture. You look great! I think I remember you telling me that you are a correctional officer for the state prison system. Did I remember that correctly? Gary
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

All the mentions of fireworks reminded me of the 4th of July in ’63. I
asked Ronnie ‘Big Chip’ Johnson to come along to Lake Metigoshe for the
weekend. We bought a few packs of firecrackers and some other stuff and
were ready for dark. Ronnie had a brand new sweatshirt with the pocket
across the front. He had it full of his firecrackers and some of the
lighters called ‘punks’. We were lighting a few firecrackers off the
punk and decided we would wait for a while to do some more. He snuffed
out his punk and stuck it in his big pocket with the firecrackers.
Well—it wasn’t out and for the next five minutes he jumped around the
yard screaming while the entire works went off in his new sweatshirt. I
remember him holding his sweatshirt out as far as he could and jumping
around like a wild man! I don’t remember him being burned but the
sweatshirt didn’t look to good when it was over! Thanks Gary!


Fishing trip to SD with pictures from Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA
Dear Family and friends,

Victor and I just returned from lunch and I thought I would share news and a few pictures of the week in Mobridge, SD from June 13/19. Fishing could have been better, but the time and place and folks were splendid. We has the use of 2 fishing craft that had seen years of service and 2 owned by Bob and Jeff Gottbreht that are really on the cutting edge. Great food each night provided from fresh catch of the day prepared in Rick Gottbreht’s portable kitchen. Nora and Ivan were an excellent fit to the group; Nora has surely won the hearts of all the family.

Love, Vic and Sharron

Gottbreth fishing trip phote L to R:
Cheryl Bailey, Ernie G, Rick G, Ivan Shen, Ryan G, Sharron Shen, Jeff G, Bill G, George G, Will G [son of Bill], Marc G, Victor Shen, Nora Obringer Shen



Folks, with these pictures I would like to comment that Cheryl Bailey, Ernie’s friend, is a real sweatheart of a lady. We met her at our class of 65 reunion and then we saw her several times in Bottineau following the reunion. Cheryl is so friendly and nice. Gary



Cheryl Bailey, Ernie Gottbreht, Ivan Shen & Victor Shen



Sharron Gottbreht Shen’s letter:

Fishing News



Early plans for Gottbreht fishing derby kicked off by Bob Gottbreht late 2008. Bob’s wife Connie was the only female attendee at previous meets. This year, all comers were welcomed. Uncle and cousin Gottbrehts were eager to meet our daughter-in-law Nora and pressed Ivan to abandon Wall Street for some serious fishing and evening “fish” stories and other lies in Mobridge, SD. Nora said she would go if Victor and I would be there, and so it was.



Nora and Ivan, Victor and Sharron rendezvoused in Bismarck, ND. Food first happened at Dave’s Amazing Barbeque and was voted commensurate compared to the best in NYC’s Righteous Urban Bar-B-Queue or the Shack in Dallas, TX. The drive south on the west side of the Missouri was amazing. Rolling hills so green, studded with clusters of cattle and buffalos with their young. America, America. Digs at the Wrangler Inn were OK because of pool and hot tub; next time we opt for the park cabins; excellent rustic comfort.



We were four boats on the Missouri, 5 persons/boat; captains were Jeff, Bob, Ernest and Marc Gottbreht. Long hours and few fish that first day out for myself; Nora was first to catch in Jeff’s boat – a 22” Walleye! All boats did well, but Ernie’s. This changed on day two when we stayed on the water till limit maxed, four per person. I quote Blake Gottbreht ”Sharron had first and last catch today.” Day 3, good fishing interrupted by fierce rain – all parties drenched; returned to camp early. Plenty of fresh catch for Fish Tacos. Leisure day for me Day 4 – prepped for Asia Night: Moo Shoo Pork; Sweet and Salty Shrimp; Beef Noodles. Sous-chefs de cuisinewere Nora and Ivan who found the Mobridge golf course excellent and price unbelievable. Day 5, fish not biting, enough caught for fish/steak fry. My tartar sauce received high praise from all especially Rick and Sandy’s son Ryan who is big on homemade. Day 6 Marc and Dennis with derby mascot Jasper and the Shen party of four enjoyed grand brkfst served forth by George for our send off. We later learned the fishing was awesome that day; catch and release after the first 2 hours for love of the sport.



There were plenty of fireside stories in the evening.Of course, it goes without saying a lot of VO and Bud Light.The best story was probably about 10 years old Marc drove the family truck into the ditch and George was assessed a $ 20 fine by the Sheriff by giving his permission.



Special credit to Rick who brought the outdoor kitchen – two deep fryers and grill from the former Dale’s Drive Thru plus two big circular tables and lots of chairs.



I never did hear results of evening Texas Holdum games; sleep too sweet each night.

Picture L to R: 1945
Back Row: Glen Shelver, Coach, Norman Haagenson, Wayne Molgard, Bill Hosmer, Ralph Thiel, Derrald Dion
Front Row: Leo Murray, Allison Fiske, Darrel Fassett, Don Johnson, Bob Molgard.


Harvey Halvorson & Floyd Dion




Happy Birthday Bruce Pigeon (61): Garrison, ND
Bruce, I received this notice yesterday in blue below. We wish you the happiest birthday ever. Enjoy. Gary
Bruce Pigeon’s birthday is tomorrow (Jul. 5)
Reply from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC


Hi Gary, This is response to Cheryl Larson Dakin,and Ivey Eller Robert,I was happy to see that being a “fire bug” is just a stage all kids go thru. To Diane Fugure,I remember when alot of the kids on the bus would call our Mom “Mama Casavant”, she would just smile and take it all in stride like…Whats 12 more kids??? She always kinda got a kick out of it. As for you Fugure kids calling her that,it seemed normal as close together we lived.Your Mom and Dad ,and your family as a whole were such good people.To this day all us kids feel a special closeness to your family.I remember your brother David use to come up to our


Mom and say some crazy stuff that,only kids could come up with,and our Mom would laugh for a week about it…She just plain and simple loved kids…Praise God for That!!!! and all us kids said,…AMEN!

Come on All you former fire bugs out there I know you have a story!!!!




A reply to Gary from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


Thanks, Gary. Very interesting. I won’t send the clipping. :)

I had forgotten Mel Kuhn and Keith/Myron Senechal are cousins. I should
have known/remembered this, so I’m grateful Mel mentioned the
connection again. I knew Keith when I was younger–like in high
school, or just a little later. He’s the reason I had a guitar.
Sharon Kofoid/I “hung out” a little with Keith Senechal and his
cousin, Jerome Allard. Keith played the guitar and sang. I thought
this was so neat. I asked Dad if he would buy a guitar for me (I
hardly ever asked for anything, but a guitar really intrigued me.).
Dad played the guitar when he was young, so he was happy to hear I
thought I’d like to learn how to play one. He ordered a $30 guitar
from, I think it was Sears (It was a beautiful guitar; the coloring
was so pretty. Needless to say, playing a guitar is quite hard on
fingernails, and I wasn’t dedicated enough to learning to play the
guitar to “sacrifice” my long fingernails. I did learn to chord a
little, but that was about it. About 4 years ago, when my brother,
Jim, visited his daughter/her family in Ashburn, VA (He drove his
pickup.), I sent the guitar with him to give to his grandson, Vinson
Corbo. Vinson was (maybe still is) interested in guitars, so he was
the perfect person to give the guitar to.

So, thanks to Keith Senechal, I had a guitar. :) I’ve seen Keith
occasionally over the years, the last time when he/his wife were
visiting his mother at Good Sam. Evelyn’s room was two doors west of
Mom’s room. Olivine was across the hall from Mom when she (Mom) first
moved to Good Sam.


P.S. If you think Mel would be interested in reading my “guitar
story”, feel free to forward it to him. The world continues to grow
smaller. :)

Neola, This very interesting story is worthy of sharing with everyone. You mention Jerome Allard (58) in your message too. Jerome is married to Donna LaCroix (64). I posted Donna’s picture with her cousin Randy Kelly a few days ago. Donna’s mother, Lydia and Randy’s mother are sisters to Elwood Fauske. Gary


Elwood & Eleanor Hiatt Fauske


Randy Kelly (69)



Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL


Folks, I wanted to share this picture that Bill Grimme sent to me with a Happy 4th of July message.


Bill, I love your outfit! Gary


Manvil & Dorothy Sebelius
Manvil & Dorothy Sebelius’ children:
Duane, David, Jeff, Marvin, Dennis, Daryl, Dean and Harvey Sebelius 



Dunseith Seattle reunion – July 24, 2009
Folks, Bill Grimme will be making final payment for our Seattle reunion dinner on July 21st. For those of you contemplating going and have not yet sign up, you have until actually July 20th to get your payment to Bill to be included when he makes the final payment to the Best Western for our banquet dinner. I have attached the dinner registration form and I have also pasted a copy below.
This is Bill’s current list of those registered for the dinner. Those highlighted in yellow are those not be going on the cruise.

  Name Chicken Breast New York Steak Total Paid
1 Geri Metcalfe Munro      
2 Chuck Munro 1 1 $59.00
3 Robert Hosmer 2   $49.80
4 Katrine (Watne) Hosmer      
5 Gary Stokes 2   $50.00
6 Bernadette Stokes      
7 Nancy Hosmer Baldwin 1 1 $59.00
8 Keith Kontzie      
9 Diane Larson Sjol 1 1 $59.00
10 Scott Sjol      
11 Randy Flynn 1 5 $200.00
12 Laurice Zeitler Flynn      
13 Rio Flynn      
14 Minnie Knox Flynn      
15 Edna (Susie) Knox Millang      
16 K. Flynn Richard      
17 Gary Metcalfe   4 $87.15
18 Sue Metcalfe      
19 Leah Metcalfe      
20 Angelina Metcalfe      
21 Ardis Metcalfe Steggal 1 1 $59.00
22 Harley Steggall      
23 Phyllis McKay 3   $74.70
24 Patsy McKay Heggen      
25 Minnie Mary McKay Merrill      
26 Lee Stickland 2   $49.80
28 Terry Espe      
29 Lea Rae Perrill Espe 2   $49.80
30 Bill Grimme   2 $68.20
31 Irina Protassevitch      
32 Bill Longie 2   $50.00
33 Al-lyn Longie      
34 Mark VanDyne 2   $50.00
35 Dreama VanDyne      
36 David Shelver 1 1 $59.00
37 Linda Shelver      
38 Sharron Gottbreht Shen 2 1 $83.90
39 Evie Gottbreht Pilkington      
40 Shirley LaRocque Wendt      
41 Carrole Fauske Rude      
42 Laverne Rude 2   $49.80
43 Darrel Stokes 2   $49.80
44 Debby Stokes      
45 Oliver Reing 1 1 $59.00
46 Marlene Reing      
47 Sandra Zeiler Vandal 1 1 $59.00
48 Mike Vandal      
49 Cheryl Haagenson 1   $28.00
50 Marie Iverson Staub 2   $49.80
51 Marvin Staub      
52 Patty Boguslawski Gottbreht 1   $24.90
53 Janice Leonard Workman 1   $24.90
54 Connie Fauske Monte   2 $68.20
55 Robert Monte      
  Larry St. Claire 1   $24.90
  Sub Total’s 35 21  
  Combined Total


To attend this dinner, just fill in the following selections for you or your party, send me a check, and I will return a receipt.


Note: Prices listed include all taxes and gratuities.





EntréePriceExtended price



______Pan Seared Chicken Breast$24.90___________

______Angus Beef New York Steak$34.10___________







Send Check to Bill Grimme,

3117 Memory Brook Circle,Birmingham,AL35242

.Phone 205-991-6512.




Hope to see you all there. Thank you.



Bill Grimme Class of ‘65

Reply from Ivy Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA
Hi Gary,
Reading Aggie Casavant’s story about one 4th of July adventure, it reminded me of one I had with my sister Bonnie. We lived behind Robert’s gas station, but I’m not sure how old I was, maybe 7 or 8. Orphula Robert had a wrecker service & would haul cars, some wrecked & some not, and park them to the south of the station. He said we could play in a certain few, and showed us which ones. We would pretend that we had our own cars and play driving them around. Well one 4 of July, when we got our allowance, we bought some firecrackers & sparklers. It was raining for a few days prior to the 4th, and the weather report said it would be raining for a few days after as well. We just could wait so we got into the front seat of one of the cars and decided to light off the our firecrackers. We would light them and throw them on the floor in the back seat or the floor of the front seat passenger side. We had the window closed cause it was raining. We did this for, I’d say an hour or so and were having a great time, but next thing I know, I seen Mom out of the corner of my eye, pounding on the window next to me. I know she was saying something but we could not hear a thing she was saying. We didn’t have to hear, we knew why she was mad as a wet hen! It took a few days to be able to hear again as well as being able to sit down! I guess we were lucky we didn’t loose our hearing permanently. All I know is that Mom would not let us have fireworks, firecrackers to be more specific, again for a few years after that.

I hope everyone has a safe & great 4 of July!

Ivy Eller Robert

Reply From Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX
What a great story by Aggie. Thank God for guardian angels! I can just see them running after all of you stomping out little fires! This will just spark floods of memories of behavior that was fun, or seemed like a good idea at the time, but was really dumb and dangerous. LIke when I was a freshman (old enough to know better) and lit candles under my crepe paper pom poms in my bedroom. Whoosh! And they were lit too. I grabbed a Reader’s Digest magazine and beat it out but there were whisps of burned crepe paper all over the room and floating in the air. It took flinging WATER to get the air cleared of all the charred crepe paper. Mom was at the commisary, (Dad was in Viet Nam) my 3 sisters were out playing so I closed my door and started trying to clean up. The girls banged on the door wanting to know what was going on and I told them I wanted to surprise Mom with my clean room and to stay out! They didn’t want to get roped into cleaning so they did. When Mom got back I showed her my nice clean room and of course she zeroed in on the slightly scorched wall first. Wanted to know what happened……I looked at her for a minute and knowing honesty was really the best policy, and needing to remind her of it “just in case” I said “well, I was going to make up a story Mom, but thought I had just better tell you the truth” so I proceeded to tell her what happened (the short version) and of course she was glad I wasn’t hurt, thankful the house didn’t burn down, and felt good that I chose to tell the truth and not lie. Whew! Dodged a bullet there!
I can’t wait to hear more of the stories I know will be coming!
Cheryl Larson Dakin ’71
Correction from Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND

Dir. Gary, I don’t mean to be annoying, as you are doing a splendid job with this daily letter, However, the way it was written will confuse those that do not know the difference.
But!!!! Patty and George’s kids are Grand Children of Dale and Alma (Boucher) Gottbreht. Not George and Alma!
Your Post says that they are grandchildren of George and Alma. This should read (Dale and Alma)
As written this implies that George and Alma to be man and wife and or of the same grandparental status.
Dale and Alma (Boucher) Gottbreht) are the grand parents of George Jr. and Patty’s Kids. Dale and Alma being Georges parents.
George Sr. and wife Evelyn are the Great grand parents to George and Patty’s kids and Grandparents of George Gottbreht and his siblings.
Mark, Thank you so much for catching this mistake. This is one of those mistakes that I read right over when I proof read this prior to sending. I knew that Dale and Alma were husband & wife and parents of George. I also had Patty listed as being in the class of 66, so I have corrected that too. When I typed this I was thinking Dale and typed George. Again, thanks for catching this and bringing it to my attention. Gary

Patty Boguslawski Gottbreht (65) with her three sons Rick, Jeff & Bob.

Patty, I’m not sure of the identities of your boys. I’d say you are pretty well

protected with these guys. Your boys are grandchildren of

Dale and Alma Gottbreht too, with George being their father.




Picture posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


Folks there are some Dunseith connections and folks in this photo.

Marlys Zorn (69) Fairbury, Nebraska

Vickie Metcalfe (70) Bottineau

Lynette Geiszler, Bottineau, wife of Brian Johnson (69) and Daughter-in-Law of Mona Johnson (48):





The following previously posted pictures were provided by


Doreen Bailey: Tempe, AZ




Reply to the Casavant siblings from Diane Fugere (75): Minot, ND


To Aggie Casavant and all her siblings: Every time I read something from you Aggie, I think of your mom. We called her “momma” just like you kids did. She was a wonderful humble lady, “salt of the earth”, which reminds me of Stella Schimetz of the exact same character as your momma.

Diane Fugere

Reply from Kathy Casavant Ellingson (74)Bismarck, ND
Gary, Sometimes I do not get pics also but what I do is right click on the x in the box then I click on view pic & then it comes up so if your readers try that maybe it will work. Kathy
Kathy, Thank you so much for this info. Now it would be interesting to know why these pictures sometimes don’t show on the screen but are there when doing what you do to view them. This is interesting. Does anyone have the answer? Gary

Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND
YES Gary I also have the trouble with NOT seeing some of the pictures. To Lyle thanks for the It is really interesting . HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO ALL and THANK YOU TO ALL OF U WHO SERVED AND MAKES IT POSSIABLE TO LIVE IN THE FREE WORLD.
To the Allard family so sorry to hear about the lose of your loved one. May GOD hold you close in this time of sorrow.


Reply from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): GLENDALE, AZ
In response to the question re:pictures not showing up, this has happened many times to me also. I kept meaning to let you know but never got around to it. Also on the cheerleader picture it had be the school year of 1965-66 as Joann and Corliss graduated with me in 66.
Jean Nicholas Miller(66)

Reply from Eileen (Mike) Brudwick: Fargo, ND


Hi Gary,


In regard to some of the pictures not always showing in an e-mail. Mine doesn’t either, and I am sure it’s the mail server I have. Sometimes if I go to the next e-mail, and then go back to your e-mail, the pictures that didn’t show before are there. Another thing is, before a person begins to scroll down to read it, make sure it is fully loading the e-mail before you do anything. At least that is how mine works better.


A special thanks to Erling Landsverk for his kind words. I agree, we who were born in North Dakota, do tend to help each other all we can. We’re just a different breed of cats, so to speak! HA!! <big smile>


My brother-in-law told me last night that when he was in Vietnam they sprayed this Agent Orange to kill the foliage because it was so heavy in areas, and so they could see the enemy better.


Great bunch of people you have on your list, Gary. I enjoy reading the newsletter every day!


Eileen Brudwick

Reply from Mark Schimetz (70)Rolette, ND


Karen Hermes Photo didn’t come through for me.


Also Old George Gottbreht and Evelyn his wife, would have been the great grandparents of Patti and George’s Boys.

It was Dale and Alma that would be the Grandparents.

Mark, That is one mistake I read right over before sending. I know blame well that Dale was their grandfather. Thank you so much for the correction. I have pasted Karen Hermes picture below that was included with her obituary. It was one of those pictures that was hidden until you clicked on the “Click here to down load Pictures” at the top of the message.
Folks, when pictures don’t go through, please zap me a message and I will send you a solo copy of the ones that you didn’t get. That is for sure not a problem. Gary

Our condolences to the John Allard family & Don Henes with their loss of Karen:

The John and Olivine Allard Family L to R:

Back: Larry, Kenny, Clayton,

Center: Mary, Olivine, John, Karen

Front: Betty, Duane, Carol

First Cousins – Class of 65 – 7-12-07


Patty Boguslawski & Carol Allard

Update on the Dunseith Reunion in Watertown SD.

Posted by Jerry (54) & Kathy Williams: Watertown, SD
We have most everything ready to go for the reunion here in Watertown with just a few rooms open at the Drake Motor Inn but will not be able to hold them past the 7th of July. If time allows we will be able to take in the Goss Opera House that is being restored here in Watertown also. Right now there is a King Tut display in the building that is very interesting. The following people have responded to me that they are going to be at the reunion and most have paid up front for the registration. Thank you very much.
Clark & Audrey Crum
Clayton & Arliss Lider
Betty Jane & Bill (Schneider) Lamb
Gary & Mary Lou Morgan
Rodney & Marlene Armentrout
Gary & Pat Woodford
Janice (Lenonard) Workman
Bonnie & Keith (Awalt) Houle
Dennis & Peggy Espe
Dick Morgan
Jerry & Kathy Williams
At this time the following did not know if they could make are not. Barry Shelver(work) and Elaine (Schneider) Hockett (husbands health).
I would also like to make up a display, and or a booklet of photos. So if you would be so kind as to send me or E-Mail me a graduation photo and a resent photo with a short write up of yourself ( where you live, what you have done in the past, what you are doing now ect.) So if you could send or E-Mail me a few pictures so that I could use to accomplish this I would be very appreciative. Even if you are not going attend the reunion please send your photos and write up anyway.
Thanks Again
Jerry & Kathy
From Larry Liere (55): Devils Lake, ND

Gary:This is a copy of what I sent to Bob Hosmer, Bonnie Houle, Janice Workman, and Arlene Daily.You may use any part of this that you think would be of interest to your readers.LARRY




Even though I have been back to Dunseith a few times since 1945 I have never visited with anyone about my childhood in Dunseith.At age 72 there may be a few things I don’t know for sure any more.I will try to mark things I am not sure of with an * and if any of you remember things different then I do feel free to let me know.

About kindergarten age I remember playing tag and hide & seek with kids.The names I can remember are Bob Hosmer, Bonnie Await, Janice Leonard Elain Watkins, Barry Shelver, Arlene & Ann Lamoureaux. I also remember a Connley Grimme I think he was a little older then me.Is Bill Grimme his little Brother?When we got old enough to ride bike our games moved to different parts of town and the park.The war was on so we didn’t have many toys except toys made of wood which were not much fun.Outside in the summer was the most fun.Barry was my best friend back then but we both played with Bob a lot.The girls would play tag, hide and seek with us or go on bike rides.* I think there was another park outside of town on the North West side we would ride to some times.I would guess it was a mile or two out of town.I was so happy I got to play the triangle in the school rhythm band.I was really worried I would get stuck playing the sticks.Barry, Bob and I would make the rounds getting treats. Candy at Bob’s dad’s store, pop at Barry’s dad’s drug store, and ice cream where my dad worked for the Turtle Mountain Creamery.Barry’s dad had a garage behind the Drug store with an upstairs that was a lot of fun to play in.One time we found some fun little bottles to play with and Barry said Bob and I could each have one.I took my bottle home and my mother found my little sister with it in her mouth.Guess what, it was an emptyArsenic bottle.Barry and Bob’s mothers were called but Glenn Barry’s dad said there was nothing to worry about because he always washed them good before storing them.Sad to say we didn’t get to play in the garage anymore.We got corn cob pipes to use in blowing bubbles with soap and water.We tried smoking rag weed in the corn cob pipes one Fall when the weeds got dry.(rag weed was also called pig weed)It wasn’t good so we didn’t try that again.Once or twice a month my Dad would deliver ice cream and milk up to the San Haven and some of my friends would get to ride along.There was a small lake below the San Haven we would go swimming in. * I think it was called Lake Schuty (sp?).I remember a murder up in the hills where a man killed a women.* I think his name was Chase (sp?)They had him in the Dunseith jail and there was a big mob outside.Our mothers came and got us away from there in a hurry.I remember bringing money to school to buy stamps which would buy War Bonds when you had enough stamps.We lived across the street from the Catholic Church and going from the South to the North the first house was Campbell’s a banker, then our house, then Haines(sp?) a Boarder Patrol Officer, then Ray Murry who had the Turtle Mountain Creamery.

Some things my folks have told me about living in Dunseith,My dad and Glenn Shelver refereed a lot of Basketball games together. My Dad was the butter maker and ice cream maker for the creamery.During the War.The little creamery in Dunseith had a contract with the Army and shipped a boxcar load of butter every week to the Army.My Mother was a school teacher in a one room country school East of Dunseith. (* I think it was about 6 to 8 miles East)

I have received E-mails back from three of my classmates in 1st & 2nd. grade and I hope to hear from more of you.




LARRY LIERE (55)Left Dunseith midterm of 3rd. Grade 1945


Reply from Lloyd Awalt (44): Bottineau, ND
Gary, The old white school on the Post Card Picture #501 . If you go to the West &
North corner of the school and go one block North the frist house on the block next
North is the one we lived in. It was owned by Tom Cassadie, the next house North was Henry Hagen. The nest house North on the corner was Ernest Horsman’s . The long
white Bldg. on that black was the Commercial Hotel owned by Grassman, later by
Grimmies. I started school there in 1932. #503 The inlarged ones I can pick out a lot of homes where people that I knew lived. Mrs Ben Marsa was teaching Grade school.
Charle Watkins house by the Stone Church. When we frist came back to Dunseith we lived in the house where Bill Fassett lived by the creek.
Story from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC

Hi Gary & Everyone in Dunseith Blog Land


With the 4th of July right around the corner I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you all,a story that took place at the “Big House on the Prairie. When us kids were quite young like ages ranging from 7, 9,10,11,12, our brother Rene was working for our neighbor Freddie Neamyer,so often times on special occasions he would stop buy and visit and bring us younger kids little gifts and surprises. As I mentioned in one of my other stories we were not the richest kids on the block,so when Rene came home one night around the 4th of July he brought us some fireworks.Some were bottle rockets, some were sparklers,and a couple bigger ones…And boy oh boy were we excited…It was like waiting for Christmas Eve to open our gifts.Rene told us not to mess with them til he came home on the 4th and he we would shoot them off together.Well in the days leading up to the 4th we were listening to the weather every nite to be sure it wasn’t raining on the 4th…Well lo and behold,the morning of the4th of July it was raining.Here were these 5 little heads (Jimmy,Bobby,Eddie,Aggie,&Maryann) standing at the window watching the rain come down,thinking…I KNOW THIS IS NOT HAPPENING….Our Dad was sitting there in his chair like always reading the paper and smoking his pipe,So Bobby(Daddys pet as we would always call him) went over and asked,”Daddy,do you think it will quit raining by tonite so we can shoot fireworks? Our Dad looked over his reading glasses,half way smiling,and said ,Nah No,it’s gonna rain all day and all night…Bobby looked at him for awhile and said,”But we want to shoot off our fiereworks tonite Daddy.(Like he was going to manipulate our Dad to shut off the rain) I really believe to this day Bobby really thought he could…LOL. Daddy just kinda smiled and said,Nah you got all summer to shoot off fire works…. At that point us other kids heard about enough,and we all looked at each other like…Oh No,that ain’t gonna happen..this is the 4th of July,and come rain or high waters,those fire works are going off tonite!!! So as it worked out ,sure enough as it was getting dark it was still raining,so our Mom&Dad decided to go visit our Uncle Aime and Aunt Germaine Barbot,about 7 miles away.Our Mom and Dad wern’t a mile down the road,and us kids had the fireworks out of the box trying to figure out how we were going to shoot them off with it still raining outside.All at once Eddie said,” Hey lets go upstairs and open the door that goes out to the roof and stand in the doorway and shoot them outside,and we all were jumping up and down,yelling”Yah yah thats a good idea lets go.(Well first off you have to understand,we had no electricity to the up stairs) so were all running like crazy up the stairs,tripping over each other, in the dark . with visions of rockets red glare,and getting all patriotic…So when we got the door opened,we saw it stopped raining.So just as we were going to start back downstairs to go outside and shoot them off, Eddie said,”Hey lets not go downstairs lets go out on the roof and shoot them off,So Bobby started out on the roof first to set up this rocket on the peak of the roof. Well it was wooden shingles slick as oil and he slipped and fell grabbing onto the metal trim that went down the middle of the roof. Just then it started raining,so we pulled Bobby back in and went back to plan “A”.We had our pop bottles and were taking turns shooting them out the door.While waiting our turn,Jimmy,Maryann and I lit the sparklers and were running up and down the hallway,hollering and yelling and laughing.By that time Bobby and Eddie discovered that the rain would put out the bottle rockets as soon as they hit the outside,so they started shooting the bottle rockets down the hallway,So we all got our own pop bottle and started shooting them where ever we could find a space to shoot them. Some hit the walls,some hit the windows,some were being shot off straight into the ceiling,but they all went…When we got done with them,we started lighting packs of firecrackers all at one time… All at once we seen this flash of lights on the wall,we looked out the window and it was our Mom&Dad. (our uncle and aunt weren’t home so they came home early)We went tearing down the steps and slammed the upstairs door trying to look all calm and normal. When they walked in the house my Mom had this look on her face,as the smell of sulphur hit her… It was like her lips were moving, but we couldn’t hear her real well cuz they were ringing from all the fire crackers.We could kinda hear her saying,”What did you kids do??? I said, Bobby and Eddie lit a pack of fire crackers,but we’ll shoot ours off another nite…(Like none of the rest of us did anything wrong) Bobby and Eddie were looking at me kinda blinking,like they were shell shocked. Our Mom and Dad didn’t check to see if the rest of the fireworks were still there….But the next morning when our Mom went upstairs to gather our clothes to do laundry she got the full impact of what we did.I swear to God ,she must of thought she walked into a war zone,with burn marks all over the walls and ceiling with burned up fireworks all over the floor….Like the song goes”Let Freedom Ring,Let the Whole World Sing,Let the Whole World Know That That Day Was the Day of Reckoning……..


Hope You All Have A Happy Safe 4th of July! Aggie

Aggie, You guys were luck they weren’t calling the fire department. I’ll bet that upstairs was a sight for sore eyes when you guys were finished lighting off all your fireworks. Gary


Karen Allard Henes obituary:
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND

Karen Henes
July 20, 1955 – June 25, 2009

MOHALL – Karen Henes, 53, of Mohall; died Thursday, June 25, 2009, as a result of injuries received in an accident involving a motorcycle striking a moose.

Karen Ann Allard was born July 20, 1955 in Bottineau, a daughter of John and Olivine (Cote) Allard. She attended school in Dunseith and graduated from Bottineau High School in 1973. She graduated from Josef’s School of Hair Design in Minot.

Karen married the love of her life, Don Henes, September 29, 1979 in Bottineau. She worked at Hal’s Men’s Store and Tommy Turtle Lanes for several years before moving to Mohall. Karen was currently employed as a hairdresser at A Reflection located in Minot.

Karen loved traveling to various places with her husband, Don. She always invited family and friends to join them. Karen enjoyed camping, fishing, gardening, canning, biking, boating, skiing, hiking and had a gorgeous yard. There really wasn’t much Karen didn’t enjoy doing. She loved life and lived it to the fullest! Although Karen and Don weren’t blessed with children, they were adored by all their nieces, nephews and many, many friends. Everybody loved Karen. Karen and Don were looking forward to celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary on the 29th of September of this year.

Family: Karen is survived by and will be deeply missed by her husband, Don, Mohall; her beloved pets, Jetta, Gizzy, Toots and Lucky; father, John Allard, Bottineau; sisters, Betty (Ron) Heinz, Rolette; Carol (John) Buxbaum, Sidney, MT; Mary (Laurel) Hiatt, Bottineau; brothers, Kenneth (Nancy) Allard, Fessenden; Larry (Dawn) Allard, Dunseith; Clayton (Diane) Allard, Bottineau; Duaine (Lavonne) Allard, Willow City; sisters-in-law, Mary Woolcott, Willow City; Diane (Ray) Kallus, Round Rock, TX; Peggy (Jeff) Oster, Bismarck; brother-in-law, Gary (Sherri) Henes, Bottineau; Dan (Cindy) Henes, Minot; James (Lavonne) Henes, Bismarck; David (Elsie) Henes, Willow City; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and her many wonderful friends.

Karen was preceded in death by her mother, and numerous aunts and uncles.

Funeral: Thursday, July 2, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, Mohall

Burial: Mohall Community Cemetery

Family Service: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the church

Visitation: Wednesday from Noon to 5:00 p.m. at the funeral home

Sign the Online Guestbook

View the Henes memorial folder (These links will open in a new window)
Henes folder outside
Henes folder inside


I did not know Karen, but Carol and Larry were in my class of 65. Carol, your sister Karen looks very much like you in her photo. She too was a very pretty girl. My condolences are with all of you family members with the passing of Karen. She was a young lady too. Many of you out there on this distribution are related to Karen.
I will be posting some of Karen’s memorial folders tomorrow that Neola included with her obituary today. Gary
Reply from Lyle Olson (70): West Fargo, ND

I hope all is fine with you and yours. I haven’t been able to read the daily messages for quite some time but did want to respond to the message from Verena Gillis about cancer rates in Rolette and Bottineau Counties.

When practicing law in Rolla back in 1987 – 1989 I represented several people for Social Security disability claims. Virtually all my clients had cancer or family members with cancer. Although not pertinent to my representation of my clients, I did learn through extensive research that the so-called fire break between the US and Canada – the scorched earth path that runs from the Peace Garden to Lake Metigoshe – had been sprayed with Paraquat (not Agent Orange as some have reported) back in the 30’s and up to the early 60’s. You may have heard of Paraquat in the past as it is the herbicide used by our own government to eradicate marijuana in California and elsewhere in the 1970’s and 1980’s. There was a huge outrage over the use of Paraquat for such efforts as marijuana users developed severe breathing and other problems after smoking marijuana that had been sprayed with Paraquat and then harvested for sale. While the DEA no longer uses the chemical for drug eradication in the US, it does fund the purchase of the same for use in countries such as Mexico, Columbia and now in Afghanistan. In any event, there is a statistically significant higher incidence of cancer mortality in Rolette and Bottineau counties than in the US and ND. Indeed, Rolette and Bottineau Counties rank #1 and #3, respectively, of the 51 counties in ND as to incidence of cancer. Go to “http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov/micromaps/” and complete the information in the left hand columns using all ND counties, all cancers, both sexes, all ages and other inputs and you will see the cancer “hots spots” in the state.

Now, I am not a conspiracy theorist at all. I do not believe the government is hiding anything as there could be literally thousands of reasons why there is a higher cancer rate in Rolette and Bottineau counties than in all but one county in ND and the US in general. Lifestyle, environment, etc… could all account for the higher cancer rates. However, it seems to me that the statistical difference is great enough to warrant some sort of study from the federal or state government.

Lyle Olson



Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI


Hi Gary and Everyone:


While listening to the many messages on your blog this morning, I was struck by the message from Eileen Brudwick, that referred to the Agent Orange being used in Canada, and the subsequent illnesses and other dibilitating conditions resulting and attributed to the possibility that Agent Orange might be responsible. While at a VA Hospital a couple of days ago for a semi annual check up, I visited with a veteran from the Korean war, who told me about his younger brother who served in Viet Nam. He told me that his brother was subjected to to the spray of Agent Orange while on patrol. Upon his return to the United states, his general attitude appeared to be changed, although he married later and lived a somewhat normal life, he suffered from constant skin erruptions that either didn’t heal completely or healed very slowly so that others appeared during the healing process. This continued untill he was about 58 years of age, when he was diagnosed with cancer in many parts of his body, and he died after two years of painful treatments. I believe that his older brother said that the cause of his untimely death was quite likely if not absolutely certain was Agent orange. The reason I brought this incident up is that I have learned of many cancer deaths in the Dunseith, Bottineau area, and I might say an inordinate number. It would be a shame if the matter were to be dropped, and the responsible chemical companies were not brought to task for not warning of the potential dangers to everyone in the area before using it.

I guess I have to be thankful they hadn’t developed Agent Orange when I was wandering through the dense Phillipine foliage during World War II.

I wish to thank Eileen for her thoughtful consideration by bringing up this bit of information for all to consider. Thats the way of the High Plains people from North Dakota, always on hand to help others.


Erling Landsverk

Erling, I want to make comment to your statement “While listening to the many messages”. We know that being blind you have computer software that reads these messages to you. I am amazed with your ability to remember all that you do when replying to these messages with the level of detail that you do. I don’t know about the rest of the folks, but I often times reference back to the messages I’m replying too when writing my reply. You don’t easily have that luxury. Gary
Reply from Sharren Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.
Yesterday, the info regarding Agent Orange and its use was sent to my cousin, Ron St Onge of Sask. Might you patch his response to the blog? I also visited the web site you list today. All the defoliants used in the boundary land are probably carcinogenic, according to Don, but Agent Orange was not the culprit between Sask and ND. To what extent the materials have invaded our water and soil should be tested by the EPA office of ND. I visited their web site; found no evidence that tests for Dioxin had been performed. The BIA and border counties must have the leverage needed to properly check the scope of contamination. A shout should be raised. Remember the book, Silent Spring? I wonder if hunters and other observers see cancers in wildlife population?

I talked with brother Ernie yesterday – misery loves company. We both recalled the young Legasse vet of Rolette County, who died scant months after returning home from Nam, riddled with cancer. No doubt a tragic victim of Agent Orange and a fright for everyone of our generation. Ernie was in Camron Bay and the Bay of Tonkin a number of times servicing other ships. He said the surrounding land bordering the area was like a desert – no foliage. He also said there was a constant haze about the area.

In the early 60’s the USA tested Agent Orange on a small island off the coast of Porto Rico. They evacuated half the island prior to testing. Cancers are rampant in the remaining population of the island and among those who migrated to the main island, all who were supposedly upwind of the testing.

What a relief to read my cousin Aggies’ messages. Mom loved to visit her first cousin Etienne and Marie on the farm and a few of us would tag along. Lots of space in that big old house for a family of great heart and love of life. I think I remember watermelons and popsicles? The family spent few winters were in Willow City where I visited Bernadette and Paul and their many siblings. Houses could hardly contain the Casavant glee and constant motion. Great memories from ’50 and ’51.


Sharron’s cousin Ron’s reply:

Hi: just anote about agent orange use on the border, I have lived and worked along for the border in eastern sask. all my life never heard or saw any evidence of the use of agent orange. The use of anyweed sprays such as 2-4-D and all the others have no doubt raised the level of cancer along the border and the reason is that farms on both side of the border were the first to use these products and still continue using them to-day, My father and I were instrumental in getting people spraying in 1946 and they have been spraying and using seed disease treatment since that time and the rate of cancer is higher than in the rest of the country and I believe that these factors were partly the reason for that fact. take care Love Ronnie
Reply/question from Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea
Hi Gary, just a comment about some of the pictures that don’t come through. Does anyone else have this problem? For example, Jim Birkland picture does not come through but everything else does. This has happend many times before but just thought I’d mention it. Thanks for all you do with this alumni site. Have a great time on the Alaska trip. Happy birthday wishes to your wife as well. We are in the states for our summer visits. I think we have one more year in Seoul! All my best, Lynn Halvorson Otto
Lynn, With your reply to that message, your copy of that message included with your reply to me has Jim Birkland’s picture. I’m wondering too if anyone else is having that same problem with some of the pictures not being displayed. It’s obvious that the picture was there, but just not being displayed. I’ll bet we have some computer experts out there that can probably tell us the likely problem. I try to keep the file size of these daily messages to a minimum too. Larger file sizes I think could be a possible problem, but I wouldn’t think that would be the problem with these daily messages, but maybe it is. Yesterday’s message had a lot of pictures, but the file size of the whole message was relatively small. Do any of you have any idea of what may be causing this problem. Gary
Reply from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC
Hi Gary, I read with great interest Ele Dietrich Slyters story about her Dads 100 year old fiddle. I’m a die hard Antiques Road Show fan. I think it would be so interesting what they would have to say about it. I know the show goes to Bismarck now and then. It more than likely would not be anything you would be interested in selling to them,but just to know what they would have to say would be interesting. It’s always nice reading your stories Ele. I always remember you, with you,and I and Penny Awalt sitting on the floor of Mrs. Langs classroom playing jacks.I remember you would always beat Penny and I… Who would of ever thought back then that today we would be talking about the “Good Old Days”…That kinda talk was for the “Old People” like our parents…LOL. Isn’t it ironic, that as I sit here writing this message, that I’m about 15 yrs older than my Mom when she was cooking at the school…WoW, “aint that wild???
Gary, Thanks for all the kind words about our family, us kids were so blessed to have such a Great Mom,who instilled in us some pretty good values that has stuck with us all throughout our lives.She led by example,and us kids adored her.Although we weren’t the riches kids on the block,we not only knew we were loved ,we “felt loved”…so on second thought …we were rich… Thanks Again Gary! Aggie

Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


Clarence & Mary Ann Hagen




This brings back a memory that I have never forgotten over the years. I believe 1957 was the year we had an early snow fall. I remember attending a party at Clarence and Mary Ann Hagen’s when I was about 10 years with fresh snow on the ground. I remember a bunch of us were standing outside when Herman Hagen and his mother Alice arrived. Herman had a ford car with brand new snow tires and I remember everyone being very impressed that he didn’t slip a tire on the snow when he turned around in the yard. I believe this would have been Mary Ann’s birthday party that we were attending. For some reason I have never forgotten that. Gary



1966 or 1967?

Standing: Lola Metcafe, Patt Metcafe, Joan La Croix

Sitting: Joann Houle, Corliss Allard, Randi Mongeon





Shirley Boguslawski, Margaret Faine, Shirley Decoteau





Patty Boguslawski Gottbreht (65) with her three sons Rick, Jeff & Bob.

Patty, I’m not sure of the identities of your boys. I’d say you are pretty well

protected with these guys. Your boys are grandchildren of

George and Alma Gottbreht too, with George being their father.




Trish Larson Clayburgh (73) with her love of horses. Trish is a


Registered Nurse in Fort Collins, Colorado. A lot of her spare time


is devoted to horses.





Folks, this picture speaks for it self.


Phyllis McKay (65) – 2007 – Auburn, WA




Reply from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC
To Dick,that story was soooo funny,when you first described putting all differnt sizes of tires on that car, I just lost it laughing,just trying to picture it.Then when I scrolled down and actually saw the car you can see that there is 2 different size tires on it…What a scream…As I was reading it I was cringing thinking of how dangerous that whole episode was,but kids being kids just don’t think that far ahead,but it was obvious Keith Smiths dad realized it,but I guess thats what parents are for,to protect us from ourselves.That was really a great story and I can see how that picture would be priceless to you. Keep the stories and pictures coming…. Aggie
Aggie, I was in a bit of hurry yesterday and didn’t take time to comment to your message posted yesterday. You too had me in stitches with your comments as quoted:
“We use to be able to talk our Dad to go on a Sunday drive with the whole family??? I’m not real sure how we managed, but I remember about one Sunday a month he would pack us all in and drive down to Yellow Corners and get dixie cups. It kinda reminds me of this reality show on T.V called, How’d They Do That??? Well thanks for all the great entertainment Gary! Aggie”
Aggie, I’m sure most know, but some don’t, that there are 16 kids in your family. Most of us knew that is what you were referring to. Now the rest know. Aggie, the humor just rolls out of you. You really have a way with words. Your folks did a wonderful job raising such a large family. One can not ask for a nicer bunch of caring compassionate roll model folks than you guys, the Casavant kids. That was very obvious with the conversations Bernadette and I had with your brothers Rene, Joe & Gerald at the 2007 reunion. We had a nice long and very enjoyable lunch together one day at Dale’s. Gary
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

In reply to Aggie’s question about the big white building by the
police station—that is the old city hall. It burned down in ’68 and
was soon replaced by the current city hall. I believe that is the
building you are referring to. A special thanks to Sharron Gottbreht
Shen for sending the picture. In years past, there were periodic
pictures of main street that were made into postcards. I remember
seeing some from the ’50s. Would any of our alumni possibly have some to
share on the site? Thanks Gary!


Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY
While at my granddaughter’s wedding in Wisconsin, Augie and I were talking about Randy. He said, he had talked to Randy
months back. He told me, that Randy had retired up in Montana. Where in Montana, Augie didn’t say. So, if anybody knows,
Augie would, but I have no other contact with him. Sybil Johnson
Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND

Gary, I would like to say a few words about Verena Gillis….. This woman is an amazing woman she is the first one to come forward to do a benifit for someone who is in need. She doesn’t ask for anything in return. I would love for every town in the world to have a Verena she is priceless.HATS OFF TO VERENA AND MAY GOD BLESS HER .
Reply from Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND

Today’s blog brought back many memories for me…Patty, I too learned to drive on a Ford tractor, but perhaps Dad was a safer instructor than Dick???? lol as I don’t remember trees being in the wrong places.

Verena, I heard my parents and grandparents talk many times of the use of Agent Orange to clear the border line in this area, but I have no proof that this is true. If it is true, I think it may have been used somewhere around the 30’s or 40’s from what I remember them saying. I hope that someone will be able to find the information as it may help people in this area understand why so many are sick.

Gary, I don’t think this will be of interest to many people, but feel free to include it if you wish. I am including a picture of my grandfather Anton Dietrich with his fiddle. The picture was taken somewhere in the early 1900’s, which would make this instrument around 100 years old now. After my parents passed away, I found the fiddle in Mom’s things and decided it deserved to be heard again and enjoyed, so I gave it to Jim Birkland, who as you all know is a fiddle player. He did a bit of fixing and played it for me. I wanted to cry the first time I heard it. To think I was hearing the same sounds my grandparents and parents had heard was awesome. Jim called me last night and asked if he could pass the fiddle on to his son, who also plays. What an honor to know the fiddle will stay in the family and be enjoyed for many years yet!!! Thank you Jim.

And thank you Gary for all you do for each of us each day.


Ele, By all means I will post this picture of your Grandfather Anton Dietrich. Are you related to Jim Birkland? I have not seen Jim and Ruby for close to 50 years. They lived up on the Johnny Hiatt place, now the Fauske’s, when they were first married. Ruby is a sister to Mel Kuhn’s (70) dad. I think this is a picture of Jim Birkland that Kenny Nerpel sent a year or so ago? Please correct me if this is not Jim. Gary
Anton Dietrich Jim Birkland


Reply from Paula Fassett (70): North Branch, MN

It was interesting to read Verena Gillis’ note about agent orange. Once upon a time, Joe Evans told me that years ago when the US/Canada border was cleared at the Peace Garden and beyond, agent orange was used to rid the area of foliage, and he swore that that was the reason for the high cancer rate in the area. At the time he told me this I thought it sounded like a valid reason, but I’d never heard that from anyone else until now. So Verena, maybe there is something to that!


Paula Fassett




Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND

Hi Gary,
Here is a link to a website regarding the agent orange sprayed in Canada. I don’t have a clue whether this is the area Verena is talking about, but thought I would pass this on to you.



Over one billion grams of Agent Orange, Agent Purple and Agent White were sprayed on CFB Gagetown and surrounding communities from 1956 to 1984 consisting of 3.3 million litres and kilograms of Dioxin, Picloram, 2,4-D + 2,4,5-T, and Hexachlorobenzene

In May/June of 2005, the CBC National, CTV, Global TV and hundreds of newspapers across Canada reported the ongoing stories of the spraying of Agent Orange and Agent Purple at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada.

Document A-2004-00207 (See DND Documents in our Menu) was obtained through the Access to Information Act from The Department of National Defence (DND) Freedom of Information Directorate in Ottawa.

This document, authored by DND, – a collection of letters, emails, pictures, charts, diagrams and transcripts of briefings contained the decades-hidden truth about the severity of the sprayings on CFB Gagetown.

The Agent Orange document, as it became known, showed the extent of the sprayings of Dioxin, Hexachlorobenzene and Picloram contaminated defoliants for a 28-year period over an area of 181,000 acres on CFB Gagetown.

Our Department of National Defence claimed the U.S. military had been invited to test only two and one half barrels (483 litres) of Agent Orange and Agent Purple and other unregistered herbicides for a total of three days in June 1966 and four days in June of 1967.

However, DND’s own documents show that shocking amounts were sprayed for 10 years before the Americans sprayed their miniscule 483 litres in the summers of ’66 & ’67 and DND continued to spray millions of litres for a further 20 years after the Americans had packed up and gone home.

During the 28 years that DND sprayed, the enormity of the spray exposure and drift became evident as thousands of civilians and military personnel became sick and were/are dying from being poisoned by the carcinogenic toxins in Oromocto, CFB Gagetown and all of the communities surrounding CFB Gagetown






Toni Morinville & Randy Kelly





Dan McKay & Pam Lagerquist




Comments: This picture must have been taken in 1950. With 3 candles, this must be Pam Fassett’s 3rd birth. Her birthday is November 30th and I think she was born in 1947. I think Dick Johnson was born in 1950 and by the looks of this picture he’s not even a year old yet. Gary


Picture (11/30/1950) L to R:

Mark Anderson, Susan Fassett, Pam Fassett, John Morgan & Dick Johnson



Don Johnson (46)




Ramona Dionne Johnson (48)